Below Deck Med’s Tumi Mhlongo defends friendship with Below Deck Down Under alum Chef Ryan McKeown

Tumi Mhlongo and chef Ryan McKeown on Watch What Happens Live
Tumi remains close with Ryan since filming Below Deck Down Under. Pic credit: Bravo

Below Deck Med star Tumi Mhlongo has defended her friendship with former Below Deck Down Under alum Chef Ryan McKeown.

Tumi and Ryan appeared together on Season 1 of the Below Deck spin-off.

While she killed it as second stew under Aesha Scott, Ryan got fired by Captain Jason Chambers for his attitude and lackluster cooking.

Ryan quickly became one of the biggest villains in the Below Deck franchise history.

This week, on Watch What Happens Live, Tumi played a game where she had to choose between Chef Ryan’s and Chef Jack Luby’s food, which led to her friendship revelation.

“I am actually friends with Ryan. So I am going to support my friend,” Tumi replied.

The comment has social media buzzing, and Tumi has come out swinging to stand up for her friendship.

Tumi Mhlongo defends friendship with Below Deck Down Under alum chef Ryan McKeown

Not long after her WWHL episode aired, Tumi tweeted to silence the trolls about her friendship with Ryan.

“And yes I am friends with Chef Ryan Did I condone his attitude on the show ?  No People are allowed to mature and grow! I support that! He has been one of the greatest friends to me personally and helped me out a lot #wwhl,” she wrote.

Tumi stands up for Ryan friendshhip
Tumi responds to fans. Pic credit: @TumiMhlongo/Twitter

That, of course, only got some people riled up.

Tumi’s tweet also got some support as she and others stood up for the chef.

One Twitter user pointed out the show was filmed three years ago while expressing things that have happened off-screen with Ryan, which Tumi knows about and Below Deck Down Under viewers do not.

Tumi confirmed the show was filmed three years ago and said that she doesn’t have time for the trolls anymore.  

Tumi and Ryan filming
Tumi reveals how long ago they filmed. Pic credit: @TumiMhlongo/Twitter

The friendship is a two-way street as well. Chef Ryan recently expressed how proud he was of his pal.

Chef Ryan McKeown shows support for Below Deck Med’s Tumi Mhlongo

Tumi used Instagram to highlight her appearance on WWHL as Below Deck Med Season 8 ended. The chief stew shared three photos of herself and Captain Sandy Yawn in the Bravo Clubhouse.

“Great way to end off the season finale of Below Deck Med at @bravowwhl 💎” was her caption on the IG post.

The comments section was filled with love for Tumi, with many people congratulating her on a job well done. Chef Ryan was one of the familiar faces that popped up.

“Way to go TUMI! You slayed it 🙌 💪,” Chef Ryan wrote.

Chef Ryan shows support for Tumi
Chef Ryan supports his friend. Pic credit: @tumimhlongo/Instagram

Tumi Mhlongo isn’t here for people coming for her friendships and will stand up for her friends at all costs.

No doubt, Below Deck Down Under fans were surprised at her friendship with Ryan McKeown, but Tumi doesn’t care and will stand up for her friend.

Below Deck Med and Below Deck Down Under are currently on hiatus on Bravo.

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