‘Below Deck’ Star Hayley De Sola Pinto Survived The Charter Season On Chef Rachel Hargrove’s French Toast And Red Bulls (2024)

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  • ‘Below Deck’ Star Hayley De Sola Pinto Survived The Charter Season On Chef Rachel Hargrove’s French Toast And Red Bulls (1)
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This season on Below Deck has provided a whirlwind of drama. From Captain Lee Rosbach’s unexpected departure to Captain Sandy Yawn’s arrival at the helm to Stews Alissa Humber’s and Camille’s legendary feud, Bravo’s long running franchise is keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. However, there is one person on board who is the calm at the center of the stormy seas—Stew Hayley De Sola Pinto. Sporting her tattoos and iconic red curly hair, De Sola Pinto expertly navigates the chaos by offering a sympathetic ear and a witty remark as she urges her feuding charges to get back to work.

After being out of the yachting industry for four years to pursue her career in aesthetics, De Sola Pinto was itching to return. “After lockdown and not being able to travel, I knew I wanted to go back to the industry I missed,” she explained. As a self-proclaimed “big fan” of the Below Deck universe, De Sola Pinto got to live her dreams when she applied for and was offered a Stew position for Season 10 aboard the mega yacht St. David. It was truly a blessing to get the opportunity to spend six weeks working in St. Lucia, but the biggest gift for De Sola Pinto was working with Chief Stew Fraser Olender. “I hadn’t been on a boat for four years before going on the show, so I was really scared,” confided De Sola Pinto. She salutes Olender for being “so patient and so knowledgeable.” It’s no wonder that Olender now is one of De Sola Pinto’s best friends.

Over Zoom, Decider got the chance to speak with De Sola Pinto about dealing with the drama, working with new Stew Tyler Walker, and Chef Rachel Hargrove’s legendary French toast.

DECIDER: You were working as an aesthetician before joining the cast of Below Deck. What made you want to get back in the yachting industry?

HAYLEY DE SOLA PINTO: After lockdown and not being able to travel, I knew I wanted to go back to the industry I missed and start earning some good money. I wanted to get away. I do really enjoy aesthetics, but that field doesn’t offer me the traveling side of things. It doesn’t offer me what yachting did. So that’s what urged me to go on the show.

Were you familiar with the show before you applied?

Yes, I’ve admittedly watched every single Below Deck episode . So big fan, really big fan. I always used to say, “I’d really like to go on that show,” and yeah, now it happened [laughs]. So, it was great.

‘Below Deck’ Star Hayley De Sola Pinto Survived The Charter Season On Chef Rachel Hargrove’s French Toast And Red Bulls (3)

Chief Stew Fraser sung your praises when I spoke to him at the beginning of the season. What was it like to work (and play) with him during the season?

It was amazing. Fraser made the season for me. Not only did I earn some good money and get to be on one of the show’s favorites, but I also got to develop a wonderful friendship with Fraser. He made the whole experience… I don’t know how to put it… hilarious. The whole experience. Even when I was so tired and not feeling my best, he was always there to bring me back up, and I hope I did the same for him.

He is such a fantastic Chief Stew. He is so patient and so knowledgeable. He taught me a lot in just six weeks, and I’ll always be grateful to him. I hadn’t been on a boat for four years before going on the show, so I was really scared. I was worried that I was going to be assigned to a really nasty Chief Stew who was not going to give me many chances. But Fraser took me under his wing and is now one of my best friends.

Thank goodness you two were there for each other because you often got caught in the middle of the Alissa/Camille drama. What was that like?

All of the crew members were caught in the middle a bit because we were all living and working on this boat and the drama was everywhere. The energy on the boat wasn’t great when the two girls were arguing. It was quite stressful; I’m not going to lie. When you are working those kinds of hours and trying to deliver a service for the guests, the last thing you want is to be worrying about is whether Alissa and Camille are going to fall out and cause conflict. It was really hard at times.

Your humor and honesty have been a breath of fresh air during all the chaos on board. How do you manage to stay centered and out of the drama?

God, sometimes I think, “I’m not sure how I did that.” I just did [laughs]. If this experience had been 10 years before, I may have got caught up in the drama myself. I may have snapped back at people who annoyed me. I may have ended up getting involved in the endless arguments. Because I now have some perspective and knew that our charter season was only six weeks, I wanted to stay focused on my job and enjoy the experience with a smile on my face. What on earth is the point in being miserable and having an issue with absolutely everything around you?

The job was hard, but it was an amazing experience. I felt very grateful. Also, the last thing that I would do if I was having a bad day is take it out on anybody else. It’s just not in me. The younger girls can sometimes be a bit fiery with each other. I’d rather just get along with everyone. Life is easier when you get along with people, isn’t it?

Do you think Captain Sandy made the right call to fire Camille?

It’s difficult for me to say, but I believe so, yes. However, there’s also a part of me that was sad because I really got on with Camille despite her and Alissa’s differences. She’s a great girl, she’s funny, she’s got a brilliant character, but it just wasn’t working. I didn’t want all of the drama to continue. We all had a job to do. If Captain Sandy felt that getting rid of Camille was going to help us all do our jobs better, then she had to be let go. The yachting industry can be quite harsh. If someone needs to go, they’re gone.

‘Below Deck’ Star Hayley De Sola Pinto Survived The Charter Season On Chef Rachel Hargrove’s French Toast And Red Bulls (4)

In an iconic move, Camille attended the crew dinner after being fired. What was your initial reaction?

Well, you could probably tell by my facial expression when she walked in. I was very happy to see her, but I was completely shocked. It did take a lot of confidence from her , which is great. It gave her a chance to leave on better terms with the crew because I don’t think I even got a chance to say goodbye to her on the boat. It was nice to be able to see her after we returned. I don’t diss her in any way for coming to that event.

Camille’s replacement, Tyler, seems like a really good guy. Was he able to fit in quickly with the interior team?

I immediately took Tyler under my wing because I knew it must have been hard for him coming in mid-season when everyone already has formed their friendships and whatnot. I naturally wanted to take care of him and make sure that he eased in okay. He was great from the day he started. He turned out to be a fantastic steward, and he’s adorable. I love him. He’s so much fun, and that’s what we needed. He fit in so well.

Captain Sandy also joined the already-in-progress charter season after Captain Lee had to step away temporarily for health reasons. Was that transition difficult?

Not really. I was quite aware of how Captain Sandy works just because I’ve watched Below Deck in the past. She does get involved in day to day operations a lot more than Captain Lee [laughs], but honestly her style wasn’t hard to adapt to, really. My main focus at all times was just the job that I had to do, and everything around me just became a blur. I liked her. She’s very different from Captain Lee, but I felt pretty happy with how it was all going.

What was your favorite part about working with Captain Lee?

Obviously, he wasn’t feeling very well, so I didn’t see him as much as I would’ve liked. I did offer to take his coffee in most days just because I’d like to go in and have a little conversation. It was really cool. I actually hate to say this, but I did feel a little bit starstruck because I’ve always loved him. He was always been my favorite from the show. Meeting him was lovely. He really is the most humble, wonderful man.

You must have been excited to work with franchise favorite Chef Rachel too! Did you get to try her French toast?

Oh my God! I swear that’s all me and Fraser ate. And, of course, we drank Red Bulls for the whole six weeks. My meals were Rachel’s French toast. I couldn’t get enough of it. It looks incredible when you watch her prepare it, and yeah, it tastes even better than it looks. She uses brioche, and the dish is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

Your red hair is the stuff of legends, and I love that you have #itsnotawig in your Instagram bio. Is this your signature look or is it a fresh hairdo? What’s the maintenance like at sea?

I write, #itsnotawig, in my bio just to confirm that my hair is real. I probably receive about 50 messages a day asking if I wear a wig. My boyfriend started it all. Every time someone would compliment me by saying , “Oh, your hair’s amazing or I love your hair,” he’d always go, “It’s a wig.” And then we’d both stand there really awkwardly and they’d be like, “Oh, I really like it still.” And I’m like, “It’s not a wig, it’s my hair.”

So I took his joke onto the boat with me. It’s all my hair. Right now, actually, it’s not looking its best. On the boat, I didn’t brush my hair because of the humidity. Because my hair is so curly and coarse, it would’ve just fluffed out and been all frizzy. To be honest, I had to work with what I had.

What can you tease about the rest of the season?

Obviously, there’s not too much that I can say other than there’s a lot of excitement, drama, and laughs to come. You can be assured that you’re going to be laughing, mostly because of me and my weird commentary on life [laughs]. By the way, I had no idea how weird the stuff that comes out of my mouth sounds. I just think I’m being normal. It’s a good season.


  • Below Deck
  • Bravo
  • Hayley De Sola Pinto
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‘Below Deck’ Star Hayley De Sola Pinto Survived The Charter Season On Chef Rachel Hargrove’s French Toast And Red Bulls (2024)


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