THE second season of the US reality show Below Deck Sailing Yacht premiered on the Bravo network on March 1 and featured a local among its cast – Trini chef Natasha de Bourg.
De Bourg is among the crew of the Parsifal III helmed by captain Glenn Shephard.
"(He) puts his trust in an all-new crew as they sail along the sparkling coast of Croatia to provide an unforgettable, luxurious experience for the guests and their over-the-top requests," Bravo's parent company NBCUniversal said in a release.
The release reported that season one of Below Deck Sailing Yacht has averaged 2.7 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms, to date, and ranked as the number-three new series on cable last year among the ages 18-49 and 25-54.
"Additionally, the inaugural season was the network’s highest-rated new reality series in three years among all key demos."
In the new season, Shephard is joined by de Bourg, chief stew Daisy Kelliher, chief engineer Colin Macrae, first mate Gary King, second stew Dani Soares, third stew Alli Dore and deckhands Sydney Zaruba and Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux.
"When the chief stew and chef discover they're on different pages, mistrust and miscommunication makes for an extremely volatile working relationship that impacts everyone on board. As department heads undermine each other’s authority, arguments trickle down the chains of command as tension reaches an all-time high between the interior and exterior teams. With new safety protocols in place, the crew must stay on the yacht in between charters, blurring the lines professionally and personally, leading to a boat-load of nauti-yachties."
The release said de Bourg escaped a difficult childhood and a troubled marriage to take a leap of faith and attend culinary school in Europe. After finishing school, she focused on working at top Michelin-star restaurants.
"Her skills are sharp as a knife and (she) eventually became an executive chef in France before getting (into) yachting. Natasha’s headstrong nature often puts her at odds with other crew members – especially her counterpart, Daisy, the chief stew."
Newsday posed ten questions to de Bourg about the experience of the show.
Q: Your profession is a chef, not a television personality. How did you feel about entering this world?
A: I was fairly optimistic, never afraid to embrace new challenges. I am a person who is always up for a new challenge. I guess Below Deck was that for me.
You had to hide the news of your part on the show for months. How was that? And how did you feel when you could finally tell people?
It was particularly hard to hide it from my friends and family. No one understood why I was leaving home during a tumultuous time, especially during a pandemic. It was a relief to finally explain why I had been away.
How would you describe chef Natasha on the show?
Chef Natasha is quite feisty and silly – like in reality for those who know me.
I saw there was some friction between you and the chief stew Daisy. Without spoilers tell me a bit about that.
Drama! That's all I can say! You'd have to tune in to the show to see the rest.
I also saw because of the new safety protocols the crew had to remain on the yacht in between charters. How was that experience?
It was a bit difficult staying in a contained space with so many people, it was a little overwhelming at times. Working, living and breathing the same air 24/7 isn't that easy (but) it's the perfect recipe for drama.
What aspect of being on the show did you enjoy the most?
Certainly, it was the fact that it was a new experience: meeting the guests and crew; building friendships that I now have, experiencing the film industry and challenging myself in challenging situations.
What aspect did you find the most challenging? And how did you overcome that challenge?
The challenging aspect was being away from the people I love and also having little or no privacy; cameras were always in your face. You eat, sleep and wake with cameras and mics.
If you were to describe Below Deck Sailing Yacht to someone who has never seen it what would you say?
It's a reality TV series that features the yachting industry and shows everyday life and the challenges aboard a yacht. It always seems fancy, but letting people see the authentic reality of living in a confined space is great.
Is there anyone you would like to thank and/or recognise?
In the words of Snoop Dog: "I wanna thank me for believing in me." (lol). On a serious note, I would like to thank my close family and friends for supporting me, and also, the people of TT for their continued love and support. What I did was not only for myself, but to also represent my country and the Caribbean by extension.
Do you plan on continuing in reality television?
It's not in my plans, but who’s to say that we have the last say in what happens in our lives. You never know!