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Chef Ryan McKeown said his culinary talents weren’t truly shown on Below Deck Down Under because he essentially “gave up” after the third charter.

McKeown was dragged on the show and on social media for the food he created for the guests. He claims what viewers (and the crew) saw was definitely not what he’s capable of delivering. “I gave up after the third charter, man,” McKeown said on Another Below Deck Podcast. “I said f*** it, basically!”

Chef Ryan said ‘Below Deck Down Under’ was a ‘hard place to work’

Below Deck Down Under viewers saw McKeown kick it into high gear for a few charters. But McKeown said the environment was tough. “There was a time, maybe a few more charters in maybe, whatever it was … six. After a talk with [Captain] Jason [Chambers] that probably didn’t even make the cut,” he recalled. “It was one of our positive moments. I think there was a little turn up a little bit somewhere like I found a little bit of gas. But yeah, ultimately it was a really hard place to work.”

Chef Ryan McKeown holds a large plastic container while turning away from the stove on 'Below Deck Down Under'
Ryan Mckeown | Laurent Basset/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank

The challenge wasn’t being filmed at work, he said. In fact, McKeown wished more was filmed. “I don’t think [cameras] were there enough believe it or not. A lot of technique was lost,” he said. “And the things I was doing and what I was preparing and how they were being prepared was kind of lost.”

“Just a lot of the curing, a lot of the methods and the things that I was doing with some of the products that I had in the house,” McKeown added. “It was completely missed. And because I had I’ve already painted a picture of I was going to be the villain. That’s what was going to happen. So I think the focus for me was there.”

Did Ryan know the ‘Below Deck Down Under’ galley was trashed?

McKeown also defended the galley condition. After he was fired, chef Nate Post was greeted by a greasy galley. McKeown acknowledged that the galley was dirty, but said he was in the process of cleaning it.

“There is definitely s*** around,” he said about the galley. “And in a little bit of my defense, I don’t know how they cut it when I did get fired. 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.”

The ‘Below Deck Down Under’ crew had a miscommunication about crew food?

McKeown also said that he did not intentionally “starve” the crew and refuse to make crew food. “There’s two sides to every story. And I always say closed mouths don’t get fed,” he said. “So when you’re constantly asking, hey, can I get anybody anything? And everybody just says, no …,” he said.


Chef Ryan Knew He Would Be the Villain on ‘Below Deck Down Under’ [Exclusive]

Adding, “If I put out food and it’s not touched and nobody makes a comment or does anything, whether it is dislikes it or whatever. If you don’t want to speak up and say something, I’m not going to know. I don’t read minds.”