Below Deck season 9 Chef Rachel Hargrove isn’t mincing words in dishing her disdain for the Bravo show she once starred in.
Since wowing fans with her culinary capabilities in Below Deck seasons 8 and 9, the celebrity chef has soured on the show. Chef Rachel quit Below Deck (again, she once quit mid-charter season, only to return the next day), dropped out of attending BravoCon 2022 this fall and working with the TV network back in late July, but not before torching Bravo, Below Deck, and Southern Charm star Austen Kroll.
Chef Rachel Says She Always Hated Below Deck Show
“I’m no longer a fan of the network, and I’m no longer a fan of the show,” Rachel told the co-hosts of Another Below Deck podcast in a wide-ranging interview.
After going on the podcast, Chef Rachel also posted on Reddit that she’s never liked the show, even before debuting as a star on Below Deck.
“I hate the show… I’ve always felt that way since before I filmed season 8… It’s just time for me to tell them to get the F@*$ off my back and stop treating us like the way they do. Eddie Lucas did it and now I did it,” she wrote in the post.
All the drama began after Chef Rachel called Southern Charm star Austen Kroll the “most narcissistic twat” on Bravo. A Bravo PR lackey then texted Rachel to try to reign her in from criticizing another star of the network. Instead, Rachel tweeted out part of their text message exchange. (Twitter forced Rachel to delete the tweet because the Bravo PR’s phone number was included in the screenshots.)
In the text messages and on the podcast Rachel explained that she first got along well with Austen. They met in person when his brewing company came to her area of Florida, her hometown of Tampa and current city of Fort Lauderdale. However, she said he “ghosted” her and that the next time they spoke on the phone he was having a “Sunday fun day”. Chef Rachel, age 40, made it clear there was never a romantic element to their brief friendship.
She also called Austen a “drunk cokehead” when she told the Bravo PR person to make sure they kept him away from her.
Chef Rachel Reveals She Was Asked To See Below Deck Psychiatrist Doctor After Controversy
Chef Rachel posted on Instagram that the Below Deck psychiatrist reached out to her after the latest controversy to have a call. All Below Deck cast members, and reality TV stars in general, have to go through a psychological evaluation before going on the show.
Some fans were also concerned about Rachel when she began posting on social media a lot.
While on the Another Below Deck podcast, Rachel explained that other than her bad experience with Austen, and quitting Bravo, she’s doing well. She further explained on the podcast that she usually doesn’t have time for social media but that she had some spare time in the past few days.
In Below Deck season 8, Chef Rachel got very intoxicated a few times in the season. The next season she said she wasn’t proud of some of those moments and had an incredible redemption arc. Earlier this year, Rachel underwent gallbladder surgery. Since then she’s made healthy lifestyle changes.
Chef Rachel Explains Her America’s Next Top Model Tyra Banks Controversy
Before the latest controversy of quitting and bashing Below Deck and Bravo, Chef Rachel was recently dragged online. Chef Rachel tweeted a photo of Tyra Banks with gained weight and captioned it: “Hey Tyra Banks, remember when you called me a plus size model when I was a size 2?”
Chef Rachel previously auditioned on America’s Next Top Model after being approached by show production.
After causing a social media firestorm, in which Chef Rachel got a lot of nasty DMs and comments, she deleted the tweet. She explained her rationale for body-shaming Tyra Bank as a dish of revenge served cold, or just deserts.
“I’ve had a lot of former cast members actually reach out to me from that show and me how they had body dysmorphic disorder, about how they had copious amounts of plastic surgery, some had tried to commit suicide. They had all sought out to get psychological help, which is amazing…” Chef Rachel said on the podcast. “I remember when [Tyra] called me a fat ass.”
Chef Rachel also said she prides herself in standing up to bullies.
“How come I can work with Rayna and not have any issues, but then everyone else has issues. Yet she confides in me, but nobody does anything about her. Like, why didn’t they address it immediately?” said Rachel about the racial slur scandal from Below Deck season 9 involving Deckhand Rayna Lindsey.
She also defended infamous Chef Ryan McKeown‘s from his negative portrayal on Below Deck Down Under, although she hasn’t watched new spin-off series.
“From my personal experience. There’s been so many things thrown my way that aren’t normal yachting experience. And it absolutely completely behooves me that it’s going to be edited a certain way when it’s really not authentic,” Rachel explained.
Rachel has also said she may break the fourth wall.
Next should we talk about breaking the 4th wall on the show?— Chef Rachel Hargrove (@HargroveRachel) July 27, 2022
Rachel’s former co-star Rayna previously claimed Below Deck is fake.
Chef Rachel Suggests Pay Is Bad & Hints Below Deck Season 10 Return
In a now-deleted tweet, Chef Rachel suggested that even though Below Deck is Bravo’s number one hit show, the cast members don’t get paid well compared to stars on shows like Southern Charm.
Rachel’s former co-star Eddie Lucas also blasted Below Deck‘s production company for the “lowest” pay of any show on the Bravo network.
Despite Rachel quitting the franchise, fans will almost certainly get to watch her back cooking in Below Deck season 10.
“I think that you’re just going to have to figure that one out and stay tuned to see what happens with editing,” Rachel said on her recent podcast appearance, suggesting she already filmed for season 10.
“Just keep watching Below Deck,” she added.