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Antoni Porowski On Success and His Foodie-Future

Kyle Mack | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

Antoni in the Kitchen, the debut cookbook by Antoni Porowski, provides an intimate look into the life of the Queer Eye foodie. As the food and wine expert on Queer Eye, the heartwarming reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Antoni has charmed viewers around the globe with his recipes and brown eyes alike. Peppered with culinary-anecdotes of his past, Antoni steps beyond traditional celeb-cookbook territory and shares his heritage with readers.

Dina Pugliese sat down with Antoni ahead of his cooking class, in partnership with Scotiabank Amex, to talk about cooking-culture and how he has paved his way outside of Queer Eye and into a foodie-future.

D: How did you go about choosing the 100 recipes for the book?

A: The decision to come up with 100 recipes wasn’t my own, it was thanks to my genius editor and co-author Rux Martin and Mindy Fox, when they first came up with that I was intimidated. I don’t write recipes down, I don’t understand measurement. Everything is in the palm of my massive gigantic hand, and I sort of had to learn how to do all of that. When I decided that I wanted to make this my memoir, with queer eye we help other people and as all five of us go off into our side projects and other things we are passionate about, we get to sort of look at our own stories. My memoir has been through food. It is how I’ve said I love you to so many people, its how I show up for other people, its how I say I’m sorry, it’s my polish heritage, food is everything for me. All the important conversations I’ve ever had have been around the table, around a meal.

D: You are the heart of Queer Eye, and have a huge sense of empathy – that’s not something that can be taught. Does that come from your upbringing? Where did you get this sense of empathy?

Antoni Porowski for Breakfast Television – Taken by Kyle Mack

A: I think I am just a very sensitive person and I take on other people’s emotions; Sometimes to my betterment and sometimes to my detriment. I don’t know how to not be like that, I feel for people.

D: Queer Eye showcases such intimate conversations, people must feel safe in your presence. You don’t feel judged by Antoni, you just want to share.

A: I am judgemental enough with myself, I don’t like to be like that with our people. It’s kind of like “treat others the way you want to be treated”; I know that’s a thing we hear all the time but it’s the simplest things in life that our school teachers, parents, and mentors have taught us…they are all true.

D: The Golden rule – Do unto others! applies at all times, in all ways.

A: The Golden Rule!

D: You talked about how you had self-doubt when going into Queer Eye, yet you have maintained this sense of humility.  How do you deal with all of this success and all of this fame?

A: I think that it is a daily reprieve. I have days where I am more anxious and I get overwhelmed by the gravity of it. It is a lot going on, but I try to keep things as simple as I can. I have a lot of conversations with my father who reminds me every day to be humble. I think that it is a thank you to my parents for raising me right; I was a brat when I was a kid, but I think I’m just trying to figure out, and I’m doing my best.

D: With the cookbook, the Emmys, the fans, do you feel worthy now?

A: By saying that I am worthy of it, it kind of assumes that I deserve everything that I have and I don’t think anyone deserves this, but I can say that I am immensely grateful for it and I don’t take it for granted – I remember every single day. When I walk into my apartment and see the life that I have, the friends that I met, my castmates, the way that I can show up for my family, I am an incredibly grateful man.

D: Speaking of your family, Johnathan recently went public with the news that he is HIV positive. It’s been a pivotal point in breaking down stigmas when it comes to the diagnosis, do you applaud him for having the bravery to do that?

A: 100%. I think that we have this incredible platform – I don’t think any of us knew what this show was going to be. For Johnathan, it took a lot but he also knows that he doesn’t want people to feel lonely or whatever it is that people are going through. He has lived a life and a half, squared, to infinity and beyond, and he is using that platform to show people that they are not alone in their experience and that they are perfectly imperfect. I have a lot of respect for him.

 

 

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