Cornellians will get a taste of what it’s like to be a “Queer Eye” hero when the show’s food and wine extraordinaire Antoni Porowski takes to their computer screens on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. EST.
At the Cornell University Program Board event, students will be able to cook alongside the Netflix sensation and bestselling author as he answers questions and talks about his life.
Porowski is one of the “Fab Five” on the Netflix Original and eight-time Emmy Award Winning Queer Eye, that gives lifestyle and fashion makeovers to its guests. Porowski, an accomplished author, restaurant-owner and activist, teaches them hands-on skills in the kitchen.
In the fall 2019, Porowski published his first cookbook Antoni in the Kitchen, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller and has since been recognized by Amazon, Food & Wine Magazine and EATER.
The year prior, Porowski opened his own restaurant, The Village Den in New York City, offering smoothies, TV-dinners, salad bowls and more in the Greenwich Village location.
The mostly self-taught cook had come to the attention of the Queer Eye producers through Ted Allen, who had been the food and wine expert in the original version of the show. The two live in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, with Porowski cooking for Allen on multiple occasions.
Porowski calls himself a “scholar of PBS cooking shows and classic cookbooks,” and never went to culinary school, and on the show, he makes the guests feel more at home in the kitchen as the other four members redo their homes and wardrobes.
Born to Polish immigrants, Porowski described himself as a picky eater who had a love-hate relationship with Polish fare. As a child, he wasn’t allowed in the kitchen, watching his mother cook from the outside.
Apart from his experience with cooking, Porowski has also been a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, most recently speaking out against Poland’s unfounded, recent LGBTQ+ opposition.
When starting on the show, he worried about whether he was “gay enough” to be on Queer Eye.” “I think I did certainly have a bit of shame being fluid when I was growing up because I didn’t know too many people who I could relate to,” he told the Associated Press in August 2019. Since then, he’s found such community in his co-stars.
He has an especially close relationship with co-star Jonathan Van Ness, who spoke to a packed Bailey Hall in November 2018. “Also for clarification, @jvn & I are a couple … of very close friends who run a satirical couple account and may fall in love someday, but that day is not necessarily today,” Porowski tweeted July 31.
The segment will be moderated by Jeremy Scheck ’22, a TikTok creator whose content spans from his Internet famous crispy potatoes and charcuterie boards to easy college apartment cooking.
“It’s not about me,” Scheck said. “I’m so honored to do this, but it’s not Jeremy and Antoni. I’m just really there to facilitate the discussion.”
The event — which would ordinarily cost money if in-person — will include a live cooking segment so the audience can cook alongside Porowski if they wish to do so. CUPB has posted a grocery list for the meal, which includes chicken breasts, prosciutto, sage, radicchio and a range of pantry essentials.