Chef Stuart O'Keeffe is popping off on all the behind-the-scenes drama on Netflix's "Queer Eye" ... especially since he was initially cast to be one of the Fab 5 before production gave him the boot.

We got Stu leaving Pastis in NYC ... and he tells us he's glad he didn't end up being part of the series after the Rolling Stone article unveiled all the mean girl vibes behind the scenes -- which is particularly dicey since the show's all about changing people's lives for the better.


Stu's also questioning how "Queer Eye" can continue shooting another season and convince viewers they're a tight-knit, unified team ready to lend a helping hand. Remember, the expose alleged there was no love lost between the show's leads, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown and Tan France.

His 2 cents? Netflix should start from scratch with a whole new crew for a fresh start. The Irish chef says the Fab 5's closeness and bond is what drew viewers in ... but now the dynamic is broken following the expose.

Stu may be a little biased given his history with the show. Not to mention, he's good friends with BB -- who announced his exit from 'QE' in November ... though it's unclear if his departure was actually his decision.

Season 8 marked Bobby's last appearance on "Queer Eye," as he's been replaced by interior designer Jeremiah Brent. The rest of the reboot's OGs have all signed on for another season.

Though, much like Chef Stu, we aren't sure it'll be the same.

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