Chef Ryan McKeown is already the villain of Below Deck Down Under after feuding with fan-favorite chief stew

Chef Ryan McKeown from Below Deck Down Under season 1 on Peacock
(Image credit: Peacock)

Sorry, Ryan McKeown — we're only three episodes into Below Deck Down Under season 1 and it's already certain you won't be winning MVP of the charter season. (That title might just have to go to the new "Stud of the Seas," Captain Jason Chambers). 

"[Twenty] minutes into Below Deck: Down Under and I can already tell the chef is going to be a problem this season," one fan griped on Twitter, and they're far from the only one suffering from that sentiment. 

While the guests themselves have had nothing poor to say about McKeown's cooking — luckily for him, this is no Charles Sanders from Below Deck Sailing Yacht situation — his arrogant attitude, lack of communication skills and disregard for hospitality have rubbed both fans and his fellow crewmates the wrong way.

Aesha Scott — who was promoted from second stew of Below Deck Mediterranean to chief stew on the inaugural season of Below Deck Down Under — is a beloved member of the Below Deck universe, with fans rejoicing the return of the fun-loving New Zealander. And though Scott is widely easygoing on deck, she's frequently run into friction with McKeown. Upon their first meeting aboard the M/Y Thalassa, she asks him about his "cheffy" behavior: "Do you have little tantrums?" His reply? "Yeah, don’t be stupid."

Things progressively get worse throughout the first few episodes of the season, when McKeown on more than one occasion plates meals before checking with Scott to see if guests are ready and seated, leading to the potential for cold food and mutual frustration for the chef and the chief stew. 

"He doesn't ask, he's just f*cking pigheaded. Ugh, it frustrates me," Scott says in a confessional. 

"It's not my job to know what the guests are doing. You can't tell me when the guests are sitting, 'Okay, they're ready for dinner', and expect me to start," Ryan counters in his own talking head. "You know, I have to build up to that point. There is no respect for what I'm doing in the galley."

Aesha had some very harsh words to say which were so uncomplimentary we can't print them!

However, it appears those feelings are echoed by viewers, many of whom took to social media to admonish McKeown's bad behavior. 

Fans react to Chef Ryan McKeown on Below Deck Down Under:

"Arrogant," "a nightmare," and "hateable" are just a few of the colorful descriptors that fans had for the Below Deck Down Under chef. 

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The first three episodes of Below Deck Down Under are currently available to stream on Peacock in the US and on Hayu  (opens in new tab)in the UK. 

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York. 


When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.