Talk about some perfect timing! Just as Malia White’s boyfriend Tom Checketts was passing through Spain to see her, he picked up a job too! That’s right, the latest episode of Below Deck Mediterranean made it official: Tom is the new chef.
While Tom was only planning to stay in Spain for a few days to see Malia as he was on his way back to the UK to see his sick uncle, Captain Sandy buttered him up and asked for a favor and just like that, the galley has a new occupant.
It’s kind of amazing that he even agreed to stay as he met half of the crew while Bugsy was ripping back hair off of Alex, but the chance to work with his girlfriend was what got him to commit. We learn that Tom and Malia originally met in Fiji, worked together for about a month, and since then have been traveling the globe in different directions. “When you get time together, it’s amazing,” Malia said. “He’s definitely worth fighting for, he’s like…I was about to say the one but hang on,” she laughed when describing her man.
Oh, and if you think that is gushy, just wait until you hear what Captain Sandy said to hook him. “Malia’s told me about your mad skills in the galley,” she starts, then telling him she’s “been reading all about you.”
“Your resume to me is what I’ve always wanted,” she tells Tom. “You worked your way up, you were a sous chef, and then you were formally trained, you did Michelin star,” she goes on, admiring that he was a head chef on an 80-meter boat, but what really sold her is that, “You were a sole chef on a 50-meter and you’re able to cook for 12 guests,” as well as up to 11 crew members on board. “I’m asking you, could you help me out this season?” she pleads, even though he does seem a bit reluctant at first. But he agrees, saying, “It means spending more time with Malia so that helps.”
“I am so grateful and I cannot wait to see what you can do,” Captain Sandy tells him, though he does say the one caveat is his sick family member and that “if anything were to happen there I’d have to [go].”
In his first interview, Tom can only say, “What the fuck has Malia got me into this time?” and telling her that he’s “a little bit nervous, but nice to work with you again though, that’s the important thing.” He also says of his decision, “If you overthink it you’d never do anything, so just go for it and work it out while you’re there. That’s my mentality anyway. I’m sure it will get me into trouble someday.”
Sandy announces the new hire to the group who all seem pretty thrilled, except for Hannah who employs that same expressionless face (that still says it all) that we first got a glimpse at when Bugsy’s arrival was announced. “The good thing with Tom is that he seems to have a lot of experience,” she says, looking on the bright side. “On a personal level, I know that if I have an issue with Malia, I’m also gonna have an issue with him,” and vice versa, she says, looking on the realistic side. She doesn’t know how right she is when she says, “I foresee trouble on the horizon.”
So who is Tom Checketts?
Well, here’s what we know about him so far: he tells Alex that he used to work with Gordon Ramsay in London and that his mom was disappointed that he wanted to become a chef, even though she herself cooked for the queen but she hated it. Also, Tom’s dad was a “raging alcoholic” who he hasn’t seen since he was young, and since his mom didn’t want him to go down the same path, she told him, if he was going to be a chef, he had “to do it properly,” and so far, he has!
And there’s one other person who has a message for everyone watching, and that’s the former chef, Kiko. He exclusively told Decider, “I don’t know Tom, but I met him after the show one day. He seems like a very nice guy and a very nice chef. I’m afraid people [will] come to him and say, “Kiko was so much better.” No. I’m Kiko, he’s Tom. We have different personalities. That doesn’t mean anything. I don’t know how he did there, but I feel like [he’s] a good guy.”
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Monday at 9pm ET/PT on Bravo.
Where to stream Below Deck Mediterranean