This Is How Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski Eats | Fast Company


– I had 800 followers
before the show came about, and then all of our
phones, the five of us, just blew up as a result of the show. I definitely got more self-conscious about the types of
things that I would post and the quality of the photos. – You definitely show like, a raunchier side of yourself on Instagram. – Raunchier? Some people call it thirsty, I’ve never– – Right. Queer Eye has become this monster hit, but what I’m most interested in is what you’ve learned from either your fellow cast members or just the show in general over the last couple of years. – Life has changed a lot. I think I’ve definitely learned how to be a lot more
comfortable with myself. I have this pathological need for everybody to love me, I was born with that, and I’ve always loved to entertain people and it’s part of the reason why I cook, ’cause that’s how I had
to just do my thing, my performance art, and what I’ve learned is that, when you’re in the public, everyone’s gonna have opinions. So either the recipe is too complex, it’s not complex enough. You’re using too many
ingredients, too little. You put Greek yogurt in a guacamole and people are gonna hate on that and have their opinions, even though in Mexico, they’ve been putting creme on avocados for guac for so long. I wish I could take credit for putting dairy in guac, but like, it happened way
before I came on the scene. – [Chris] ‘Cause that did become like a, a social media storm, right? – I was in, like, I
didn’t expect that at all. And it’s like, and you never know what’s gonna garner the most attention, but the biggest lesson from that was that it’s actually physically impossible for everybody to love me, and that’s been the best thing, because when you have so
many more eyes on you, there are gonna be so many more opinions. So with as much amazing love as you get, you’re gonna get just as much from the other side of the spectrum. – [Chris] What is the Village Den? – Actually the name originally is the name of a diner that’s been around in this very location at 225 West 12th for decades and decades that sadly closed down. I feel like diners are kind
of a lost art in New York. The lease became available and along with my buddies Eric Marx and Lisle Richards, we decided to jump on the opportunity and open up a fast-casual spot. – [Chris] The food, you know,
there’s a lot of paleo items, there’s a lot of vegan on there as well, like it’s a healthy choice restaurant. – [Antoni] Yes. – You know, what was the
decision behind that? – There are so many food
trends out there right now, and people who subscribe to one method, and what I’ve learned
with my style of eating, like, I’m very healthy during the week, during the weekend I am not, and I don’t subscribe to just one thing, for me personally that’s not sustainable, so we really wanted to offer something that was kind of across the board, from whole30, vegan, paleo, pescatarian. When I look at a dish, I love
to know exactly what it is by really recognizing
all of the ingredients. Everybody is a lot more
knowledgeable about food and being smart about what
they put into their bodies. And when you’re in your 30s, you wanna start taking care of yourself. The 20s are over. – It all gets hard. – The party, it all gets really hard. Surprisingly, even though I tend to eat more plant-based options during the week, I’m a big meat eater, but we’re actually
gonna make a vegan dish. – Okay. – So this is a vegan crunchy creamy. – The fast-casual industry is booming, there’s a lot of places like
Sweet Green and Dig Inn. How are you planning to differentiate yourselves from them? Manhattan is swarming
with that type of food. – There’s certainly no shortage, and I love all these places, so when we were developing the menu, I think I approached it kind of the way that I do with anything that I do, whether it’s a cookbook or the work that I do on Queer Eye. The best feedback that I get is when things are as
personal as possible, so I try to just take as much of who I am, I look at my life story and there’s always food and recipes that are kind of intertwined, like those are my memories. I cannot remember what city I’m in, where my apartment is sometimes, and all of those normal things, but dishes, when I go to a restaurant or if I have a food experience, whether it was delicious or not, I always have that memory in my mind, I always know exactly which
components went into it, it’s like a really
weird thing that I have, and that’s just kinda what I tried to implement here with the menu. So I actually have, so we have some harissa baba ganoush, so just roasted eggplant. It kind of looks like chicken liver pate, but it’s purely vegan. Here we have also tumeric
roasted cauliflower. This is the crispy component. You don’t need to deep fry things to have them be crispy, that’s the lesson here. – When you think about trying to bring a dish together and all those components, you know, it takes a lot for one plate to end up as a cohesive
thing in a kitchen. What would you say are the similarities between that and running a business? – Similarities, oh, that’s actually, that’s a really good question. Um, well, although I’ve
worked in a restaurant, in terms of managing and all of the operations and things like that that come into play, I had no knowledge going in, so it kind of feels like
the wild wild west for me. But it’s hard, it’s because I wanna be in control of every component, so I think it’s asking
a shit-ton of questions, not acting like I know everything, and being able to say like, I need help, I need to figure this out. It’s relinquishing whenever I can and then just trying to, and then also knowing my opinion. It’s a tricky balancing act, but we’re kind of, I feel like I’m still
figuring it out as I go. It is so important to
finish every single plate, even if it’s sweet, ’cause it brings out the flavors more, with just a bit of finishing salt, so you get a nice little
added crunch to it. That’s our vegan crunchy creamy. I’m not gonna feed you, but I am gonna prepare the perfect bite, ’cause you have to have
every component together. – Okay. So yeah, it’s like a little bit of sweet, a little bit of salty. – Yup. – Thank you.
– There you go. – Okay. – The harissa has like a
bit of a nice spice to it, but it’s still kind of
creamy and decadent. – It feels way more kind of like indulgent than it is, if you know what I mean? Like you feel like– – Creamy, it’s all about the creamy. – So you have a cookbook. How does that kind of play into your, like, overall master
plan of what you want, you know, yourself to be as a brand, or just how you want your business to go? – I wish I could sit here and tell you, like, you know what, I have this master plan, and let me tell you two
year, five year, 10 year. I didn’t know how to approach it at first, and when my editor came up and they were like, we need 100 recipes, I was thinking like, how am I
gonna come up with 100 recipes while I’m filming episodes of Queer Eye? Like 10 hour shoot days and then show up at
night and have to cook. The cookbook is actually,
it’s very personal. I wanted to be involved in it as much as I possibly could, I have a lovely co-author, Mindy Fox, but like, all of the
head notes were things that I had to write those in my voice, and she encouraged that as well and that was probably just as much fun as testing the recipes out. ‘Cause you get to look back
on your life through food. – On the show as well, you know, you definitely have to keep
things relatively simple. Do you see this restaurant, the cookbook, as kind of like an opportunity to really prove your knowledge and expertise and skills? – Yeah, I… It’s interesting, actually, at the beginning when we
were filming season three, I did take some of the criticism to heart, and I was like, we have to make these recipes a lot more complex and I had all these ideas, and then I was talking with
our two executive producers and they reminded me like, this isn’t about your ego, we know you can cook, you’ve cooked for all of us, like, you have to focus
on what the hero needs. But sometimes it’s like, it’s coming back to the guacamole and just realizing like, what’s their version of that? Like, that’s what we’re here to do. It’s not about me. And the cookbook is a little more complex, I’d say, than the show, ’cause it’s things that I still, recipes that I make, so there is a little more of that. It’s knowing sort of how to act in like, in the different environments. It’s all like life. Like the Village Den is weekdays. The cookbook is weekends. And Queer Eye is not about me but it’s about being
of service to somebody who doesn’t have that knowledge and just trying to
leave like a little seed and just getting them excited
about one little thing and hoping that that
turns and that develops and that gets nurtured into
something bigger and better. – You’re already in people’s homes on screen on Queer Eye, you’re now gonna be in people’s homes in the form of a cookbook. Like, what is kind of the next big goal or, you know, how much further do you wanna expand what
you’re already doing? – What Queer Eye has done, it has completely changed the way that I wanna approach
everything that I do. I need everything to have meaning, because people are smart. People who see endorsements, people who like, come here, like, they’re very intelligent and you can’t, like
you can’t bullshit them with trying to pretend to be passionate about something if you’re not, like, I have to focus on being as real as humanly possible in everything that I do. ‘Cause like, once you get a taste of that, once you see what it’s like to actually help somebody do something that makes you feel good when you go to sleep at night, like, you only want to do that
for the rest of your life. So it’s more gonna be about figuring out how I can sort of take what I’ve learned from Queer Eye into
everything else that I do. (trilling piano)

100 comments

  1. I actually have the same memories connections – I always connect them with food. Cooking is so, so personal to me, it's so nice art heart-warming to see a person that really feeds others using not only skills but emotions and personality. Great job! I actually wish I could work with you at your restaurant! So little chefs nowadays think of food in such an inspiring way as you!

  2. Um a hunty bb has a diner with vegan options for my vegetable ass? Ten points for Ravenclaw? What we think? Ravenclaw? Sounds about right

  3. J'adore tes idées pour cuisiner et tu es quelqu'un de super j'adore la.dream team bisous christelle 😍😍😍😍

  4. What a great interview! Well thought out questions that were very intentional about getting to know Antoni specifically, and to learn more about his passion for food and service while also asking about his personal emotions with the public eye. I appreciate this greatly as interview with just one cast member often lead to questions prying more into the QE cast rather than the individual. Well done! Love you, Antoni!

  5. “and they reminded me like, this isn’t about your ego, we know you can cook, you’ve cooked for all of us, like you have to focus on what the hero needs. but sometimes it’s like, it’s coming back to the guacamole and just realising like what’s their version of that. like that’s what we’re here to do.“ – <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  6. I really want to fast forward like 100 years from now and see what happens in the world with this community….

    I might be not living that long….

  7. UGH this gay boy and his crooked mouth lisp… did they name him ANtowKNEE to match his LISP?  ANNOYING lil polack.

  8. I admired that he did simple things on the show cause we don't always have the time to cook an elaborated meal

  9. Hi, someone from Mexico reporting in. We DO NOT put cream, much less sour cream on guacamole. Greek yogurt? Not available in any supermarket until a few years ago some shitty wattery versions became available, that is how popular it is. Don't do it, make guac great again. Thank you for listening.

  10. Antoni: I'm making the cauliflower with the green dressing made of cilantro, parsley and green onions this evening. Yummm

  11. This Is How Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski Eats….. with his mouth?? or do gay people use a different hole?

  12. Why are they using disposable disheeeeeess??? Whywhywhywhywhy antoni it was all going so wellll, why the straw WHYYYYY #SinPopoteXFavor

  13. People are that bored and judgemental these days they bitch about greek yogurt in guacamole?!? People are sad, seriously.

  14. Interview with the Fab Five: "Who of you gets the most emotional on the show?" Four of them in unison: 8:21 😂

  15. Antoni, LOVE you!! I love your ideas for recipes . . . I always drool. I am in my 60's and have lost 12 lbs in the last 3 months—a lot for my 5'1" frame. (I just adapt your great recipes with my Keto style) Would love to see your spin on this in the future . . . cuz we KNOW QI will go on forev!! Not possible to say how much I love the show and all you guys. You make me laugh, cry and be more adventurous in life. Blessing to you in allll you do. Thank you for all you bring to this world!! 😀

  16. No, they don’t put cream in guacamole. They top many dishes with both guacamole and cream and they inevitably mix but no, they do not mix it in. They also don’t add garlic, parsley, yogurt, and most importantly…don’t call it GUAC! It is GUACAMOLE for f**cks sake!!!

  17. Why do they gave him shit just bc of his greek yogurt in guac when Filipinos drown guac with powdered milk since like the beginning! 😂

  18. Good to learn antoni isnt just a pretty boy.
    I put dairy in guac without considering the sin waaay back in the 90s, then called it breakfast guac. I was living on Maui and life was good with the avocado being free.

  19. Mom and pop places rock! They are a heart of the community. Thank you for having that available! Beautiful!

  20. I started at 12, before child labor laws were enforced…he is wonderful! I really appreciate Antonio!

  21. Love love love! Vegan food mmmmm now my fave Fab 5 and I really love all five so that’s a big love.. nice vid.

  22. Antoni is 100% my type, and would date; however, due to certain circumstances, I have to keep a promise to stay true! 💚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *