Why Chef Ryan McKeown Really Got Fired From Below Deck Down Under

Chef Ryan McKeown certainly played the villain during his time on Bravo's "Below Deck Down Under," a series that wowed audiences with its endless high-seas drama. In fact, of all the new reality TV shows to premiere in 2022, "Below Deck Down Under" ranked highest among Nicki Swift readers, so the villain factor is clearly working for audiences. 

But back to the McKeown drama. Fellow cast members repeatedly spoke about their negative experiences after working and filming with McKeown. Aesha Scott told Us Weekly, "If arrogant was, like, personified, it would be Ryan. He's a very arrogant man." She added, "I think that that's something that everyone — not just as a chef — it's kind of difficult to be around anyone that's arrogant." But Scott also joked that every chef she's ever worked with has been difficult in their own way, so maybe it's not totally McKeown's fault. However, our favorite villain ultimately got fired from the show, and since that embarrassing spectacle, McKeown has had a chance to explain what happened.

Chef Ryan McKeown admitted that he stopped trying

Chef Ryan McKeown joined the "Another Below Deck Podcast" on September 1 to explain why he got cut from "Below Deck Down Under." One of the hosts pointed out that McKeown could cook better food than what he was offering people and McKeown agreed. "I gave up after the third charter, man. I was there for fun," the chef admitted. The hosts laughed and said he just started to "phone it in." "There was a time, maybe a few more charters in, [the] fifth [or] seventh maybe... there was a little bit of a turn up," McKeown admitted. "I found a little bit of gas, but yeah. Ultimately, it was a really hard place to work."

Another moment of drama came as the kitchen was really dirty when Captain Jason Chambers came down to fire him. "And in a little bit of my defense, I don't know how they cut it when I did get fired," McKeown explained. "But when Captain Jason came in to let me go, that has to be the fastest firing in 'Below Deck' history, I was actually on my hands and knees scrubbing. It was our turnaround day. We just got done with a busy f***ing charter. Like it was time to get to the bones and clean." Despite his defense, McKeown can't seem to dazzle fans. In a post he shared on Instagram of some of his dishes, someone commented, "No wow factor." Dang!

Oddly enough, cameras didn't make Ryan McKeown's job harder

The intensity of filming can be major for the cast of "Below Deck." Aesha Scott told Entertainment Tonight that she reached out to "Below Deck Med" member Hannah Ferrier for advice. Ferrier told her not to worry. "[S]he's like, 'The thing is, once the cameras start rolling, you get such an adrenaline rush that you are just so on.' And she's like, 'You're just going to figure it out. Don't stress. You will figure it out,'" Scott said, quoting Ferrier. "And I just remembered that, and she's right. The moment the camera started rolling, everything else fizzles away. And you're like, 'Right. I'm here. I'm in it. Let's f***ing do this!'"

Interestingly, Chef Ryan McKeown wanted more cameras. On the "Another Below Deck Podcast," the hosts asked him if the cameras added to the stress of cooking. "No, it's funny you say that," McKeown replied. "I don't think [the cameras] were there enough, believe it or not. A lot of technique was lost and the things I was doing, what I was preparing was kind of lost." In McKeown's view, the cameras could have picked up on more of the challenges of cooking amid such grueling circumstances. He said that since producers decided he was already the villain, there wasn't much interest in his technique.