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Chef Stuart O'Keeffe says he was cast in “Queer Eye” reboot, unexpectedly replaced by Antoni Porowski

"The worst part was I found out on Instagram that I didn't get it, that they swapped me out."

Can you believe? Irish chef and food journalist Stuart O'Keeffe says he was cast in Netflix's Queer Eye reboot — but was unexpectedly booted in favor of current food expert Antoni Porowski.

O'Keeffe — who has appeared on Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills and Chopped, among other titles — recalled being cast alongside Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Jonathan Van Ness on Wednesday's episode of his Don't Let It Stu podcast.

"I actually got chosen. I was in one group of five, there was another group of five, which Antoni was in," O'Keeffe recalled. "They came in [and said to my group], 'You're the Fab Five.' We all went outside the room, screaming, jumping up and down. I was like, 'Let's get a photograph. This is such a great moment for us."

<p>Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Stuart O'Keeffe.</p> Stuart O'Keeffe with Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Tan France

Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Stuart O'Keeffe.

Stuart O'Keeffe with Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Tan France

About a week later, with filming set to begin in a month, O'Keeffe still hadn't received his contract and more info about production. He didn't think too much of it, but after a celebratory dinner with Brown, Berk, and Van Ness, he claimed he was called in for another audition. "And two days later I get pulled out and Antoni gets pulled in," he said.

Of the explanation he was given, he recalled, "The production company wanted me on the show. I'd done other shows with them. They were like, you'd be perfect for this. You have a cookbook out. It all ties in perfectly. ... My agent called me, he's like, 'Look, I know this sounds totally kind of shitty, but they said that you kind of have done too much stuff. I had a cookbook out and I'd done multiple shows before, where the other four hadn't. So they were like, they kind of want everybody on the same level."

"I was like, okay, that's kind of a lame excuse, but fine, I guess." The worst part, he said, was finding out that he had been replaced on Instagram, "which was really sh--ty," O'Keeffe said. "And then the production company called me, they were like, 'We're really sorry. We didn't know the assistant was going to post this video.' I was like, I'm fine. I'll just like cry for the next year."

Netflix did not respond to EW's request for comment.

O'Keeffe also speculated that OG Queer Eye food expert Ted Allen advocated for the casting of Porowski, his pal and assistant at the time. "It was such a missed opportunity for me, but you know what, everything works out."

Allen, for his part, has spoken about helping Porowski get cast, telling Vanity Fair in 2018 that he introduced his pal to series creator David Collins. "I texted Antoni’s information and a link to his website to David, and his response was, ‘Yowza, handsome!’” Allen said. “He’s an excellent cook and taught me a lot. Food is his passion.”

<p>getty (2)</p> Chef Stuart O'Keeffe says he was cast in the 'Queer Eye' reboot, then unexpectedly replaced by Antoni Porowski.

getty (2)

Chef Stuart O'Keeffe says he was cast in the 'Queer Eye' reboot, then unexpectedly replaced by Antoni Porowski.

Berk and his costars have been dogged by rumors and reports of tension and tumult on set of the series following the announcement of his departure from the show last year. Netflix has since recast the beloved interior design expert with HGTV's Jeremiah Brent, who will make his debut in the upcoming season 9.

Watch O'Keeffe's Don't Let It Stu podcast above.

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