On this season of Below Deck, viewers might see a familiar face missing, begging the question: where is Chief Stew, Kate Chastain?
In February 2020, Chastain announced on her Instagram page that she would no longer be appearing on Below Deck. Chastain posted a picture of herself in her yachting uniform with a graphic that read, “Live your best life.” In the caption, Chastain wrote a heartfelt message informing fans of her decision.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, I have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new land based role,” Chastain wrote in the Instagram caption. “I intend to step back as a senior member of the Below Deck Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support His Majesty Andy Cohen.”
But, what exactly were the reasons why Chastain left the show?
Age May Have Played a Role in Chastain’s Decision
During an August appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Chastain talked more about her exit from the show and even suggested that her age may have played a role in her leaving. “I just feel like I’m 37 and a half — and I don’t think a girl should be wearing a skort at 38,” Chastain said during her appearance, according to Bravo.
However, even though Chastain won’t be on the show anymore doesn’t mean that she’s not going to miss it. During a September 2020 interview with Decider, Chastain spoke more about how she really felt about seeing the new season on air. “But of course I’m excited to see the new season. I only wish the best,” Chastain told Decider. “I can’t wait to see how Captain Lee handled it in my absence. I need to know who brought him his Cheerios and how his pants were ironed.”
Chastain Took on Another Role at Bravo
Chastain will still be involved with Bravo even though she will no longer be appearing on Below Deck. Chastain is currently the executive producer and one of the co-hosts of Bravo’s new show, Bravo’s Chat Room. The show stars Gizelle Bryant from Real Housewives of Potomac, Hannah Berner from Summer House, and Porsha Williams from Real Housewives of Atlanta. The show is on Sundays and Mondays at 10:30/9:30c.
“We have a dream team of ladies,” Chastain told Decider in September. “I have always been a Bravo superfan. Finally, I get to talk about my true passion, which is just Bravo shows and pop culture. It’s so exciting.”
Chastain continued, telling Decider, “I just really love the creative process. I love Bravo so much that I feel like a producer credit makes it feel very official. Years of training have led me to this moment. I’ve been watching Bravo from before I even stepped foot on a yacht, so I feel like it’s come full circle.”
Captain Lee Has Said That He Will Miss Chastain
During an April 2020 interview with Hollywood Life, Captain Lee Rosbach spoke about his reaction to Chastain’s departure and expressed how much he will miss her. “That was out of left field. I did not see that coming at all. I was totally blown away,” Rosbach said on HollywoodLife’s TV Talk social media show. “Kate called me and it was a bittersweet thing. She let me know that she wasn’t going to come back, but she thought it was time to move on. She’s got bigger and better things to do and I was happy for her. But, I was sad in the same breath because she’s a valued member of my team and she’s a valued member of ‘Below Deck’ and the show, so, big shoes to fill for somebody, or try to do it, yeah. I miss Kate.”
However, Lee didn’t seem like he was giving up hope that Chastain may one day return to the boat. “I think she’s grown past that, I really do…” Rosbach said. “But who knows, maybe we’ll see her in some form or another. I really don’t know. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been surprised.”