Ever since we first laid eyes on Antoni Porowski in the premiere episode of Netflix's Queer Eye, we have been obsessed with ogling the celebrity chef's Instagram account. But it's not just his boyish smile or sweet poses with castmates that keep us scrolling though his pictures. Photo after photo featuring gorgeous cheese plates, perfectly roasted chickens, and vibrant vegetables make us want to reach through our phone screens with a fork and dig in. We love his obvious passion for food and cooking, which despite the fact that some have doubted it is clearly something he comes by honestly.
Refinery29 caught up with Porowski, and after getting some genius tips for throwing the perfect Royal Wedding viewing party and chatting about his partnership with Strongbow Cider, we moved to discussing more personal topics. Queer Eye's resident food expert dished on his favorite controversial ingredient, the food trend he hates, and forthcoming food projects. He even shared some sweet stories that confirm he has always had a true love for food.
Foodie From The Beginning
Porowski teaches Queer Eye contestants simple recipes that utilize basic skills so they can grow their confidence in the kitchen. When he's cooking for himself, however, the celeb chef has long favored more sophisticated snacks, a tendency encouraged by his foodie parents. "My favorite snack as a little kid was a nice, tart green delicious apple cut into thin slices with a slice of either a Havarti, if I wanted something creamy, or a sharp, sharp cheddar... I was a fancy boy, I'm not going to lie to you."
Funny Food Memories
In addition to the refined snacks his European parents encouraged, Porowski also created mischief with his more peculiar food choices. "On Easter — I was raised Catholic — we would boil eggs and go to church and have them blessed and come home," he recalls. "Then we'd have them at dinner and knock the eggs to see who wins, whose shell stayed in tact. I would hide in the kitchen and peel, I’m not even kidding, like, six eggs and take the yolks, slather mayo on them, and add fleur de sel or some good salt, and I would just eat this cholesterol bomb. Then my parents would find the egg whites and shells and yell at me because I was being wasteful."
Unconventional Snack Staples
When asked about his favorite unconventional snack combinations — besides blessed Easter eggs and mayonnaise, of course — Porowski names a very controversial ingredient: Marmite. The yeast spread is a "low-brow staple" in the United Kingdom and is basically the U.K.’s answer to Australia's Vegemite. "I do love my Marmite. It’s kind of weird. I think a lot of people get irked by it, and they don’t really get it. If you use too much, it’s way too intense, but with a slice of Swiss cheese on an English muffin with a bit of nice butter... It’s such a specific thing that hasn’t quite made it here yet. Maybe we can start now."
A "Cheese Freak" First
At first, when asked what one food he would chose to eat for the rest of his life, Porowski had a practical response: "For sustenance, I was going to say dried salmon jerky from the West Coast which is so amazing. It gives you awful breath, but it’s so delicious." But, the food he would actually never get sick of is, of course, cheese. "I know I say it all the time, but I’m a cheese freak. I love cheese in all different shapes and sizes," he admits. While he loves almost any kind of cheese, including the stinkiest blue cheese around, he has a special place in his heart for a Quebec cheese called Le Riopelle. "It has this nice moldy crust on the outside, and it’s creamy in the center. When you let it sit out for an hour — that’s all it takes, an hour — it just slathers like butter, and you can put it on a cracker or a nice piece of baguette. Wash it down with a Strongbow rosé cider, and it’s the perfect decadence."
Though Porowski’s food trend pet peeve is "anything that mimics being meat," he hasn’t completely written off the trendy Impossible Burger. When asked about the meatless burger, the Queer Eye star admits he's planning to try it for the first time this week as research for a new project. "Okay, this is the first time that I’ve mentioned this. I’m working on a food thing — I'm going to leave it at that — and I'm helping someone develop a menu for healthier eating and somebody mentioned this Impossible Burger," he tells Refinery29. "I'm actually going to try it later this week. I’ve never had it. I don’t quite get it, but I’m very open minded... I’ll always try something once or even twice." Spoken like a true foodie.