Chef Jack Luby reveals his biggest Below Deck Mediterranean challenges, interview

BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN -- Season:8 -- Pictured: Jack Luby -- (Photo by: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo)
BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN -- Season:8 -- Pictured: Jack Luby -- (Photo by: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo) /

Fans of Below Deck Mediterranean appreciate that the chef can often make or break the guests’ charter experience. On the current season, Chef Jack Luby not only has to impress the guests and handle their preferences, but he must do so under Captain Sandy’s watchful eye.

When Chef Jack was introduced on this season of Below Deck Mediterranean his impressive resume wowed many viewers. As he honed his culinary skills, he worked at various highly regarded restaurants, including Michelin star ones. While that CV would earn him a place in the kitchen almost anywhere in the world, the chef chose to step into the galley and take his turn on the Bravo television show.

During a recent conversation with FoodSided, Chef Jack Luby shared his thoughts on guests’ preference sheets, how he prefers to structure a menu for guests, and what is next on his culinary journey.

Before every charter, reading the preference sheets could make any chef a little nervous. Unlike the restaurant critique who dines under secrecy, the guests are unafraid to speak their mind, especially when the food is not up to their liking.

When asked about guests and their preference sheets, Chef Jack was candid. In other charter experiences. he mentioned that the process was different. For those trips, he would ask the guests to try his menu on the first night. If it wasn’t their preference, he would adapt.

On Below Deck Mediterranean, the scenario is very different. Chef Jack said it leaned heavily on preference sheets. He said that he learned, “not to cook for my ego. It is all about cooking for the guests. There is a lot to manage.” Still, he aimed to do his best each and every time.

Chef Jack Luby from Below Deck Mediterranean
BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN — Season:8 — Pictured: Jack Luby — (Photo by: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo) /

Chef Jack mentioned that he has a background in modern European cuisine. While he has traveled around Asia, fresh, local ingredients would normally drive his preferred menus.

For this Below Deck Season, he said, “there is a heavily Italian influence to the food because we’re in Italy. But, I can I get thrown a bit off guard when people want Caribbean nights and we’re in Italy.” As he went on to explain, it is hard to source those locally, fresh ingredients in the Mediterranean locale.

That reality was something that Chef Jack did not expect and something he did not prepare to handle. As he admitted, “I’ve never been to America and guests wanted American food.”

While the guests were the chef’s first priority, he was cooking for everyone on board. Even if some guests might have been a little demanding, the crew were easier to please. As he mentioned, the crew was happy when they ate burgers and pizza. It seemed that their preference sheet was easy to handle.

Looking back at the Below Deck Mediterranean season, Chef Jack Luby is happy with the experience. As he reflected, he mentioned “the first charter was trial by fire, but I love the fact that the guests loved me and the food. It was a good opportunity to showcase my abilities and I earned Captain Sandy’s respect. After that, I had her support the entire time. I was really proud of the first charter.”

While Captain Sandy’s confidence is a huge boost, it did not mean that the galley was not overflowing with drama. Similar to how the home kitchen is the center of the party, the galley can be teeming with gossip, fiery words, and hurt feelings.

Chef Jack Lucy and Captain Sandy on Below Deck Mediterranean
BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN — Pictured: (l-r) Jack Luby, Captain Sandy Yawn — (Photo by: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo) /

Chef Jack said, “I think that everyone needed therapy after this season. I’m a happy go lucky person and wanted to stay above the drama, but sometimes it is unavoidable. That bad vibe is unavoidable and you can’t just tell a person to get out.”

Now that Below Deck Mediterranean is over, the future looks drama free for Chef Jack Luby. As seen on his social media accounts, he has been on a fitness journey and that idea has influenced his next culinary chapter. He is going to head to the U.S. for the first time and see what opportunities await for him. Hopefully, there will be no drama served on those tables.

The current season of Below Deck Mediterranean airs new episodes Monday nights at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Episodes can be streamed the next day on Peacock.

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