Food

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski Talks Old Bay and Rose’s Luxury

Porowski is bringing his cookbook tour to the Lincoln Theater on Tuesday.

Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski comes to DC Tuesday for a stop on his cookbook tour. Photograph by Paul Brissman.

Queer Eye’s food and wine guru Antoni Porowski releases his first cookbookAntoni in The Kitchen, today. In honor of the book debut, Porowski is taking the stage at the Lincoln Theater on Tuesday at 8 PM for an evening of food demos and conversation with chef-memoirist  Kwame Onwuachi. We chatted with the avocado enthusiast about cooking for the Fab 5 and where he grabs a bite in DC. Here’s what we learned:

He gets personal in his new cookbook. 

“For me, food is something that’s extremely intimate and I share a lot about my personal life and the reasons why I included these recipes,” Porowski says. Many of the recipes are inspired by food he ate growing up, such as desserts culled from “relatives and aunties.” But some speak to more recent memories: “It’s an intimate piece that kind of looks at the relationship I was in when a lot of these recipes were created, when I started testing them out,” Porowski says. 

He feeds the Fab 5 his recipes. 

The first season of Queer Eye was filmed in Georgia, and Porowski says he, along with co-stars Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France, were “huge fans” of the Tex-Mex spots in Midtown. Porowski cooked the style and beauty experts a smoky chicken fajita recipe that made it into the book, and says the dish connected the trio. Porowski once made France a turkey meatloaf made with a block of Vermont cheddar. “Tan is the more experimental eater,” Porowski says. “He’s a little piggy like I am.”

He grew up eating Old Bay. 

Porowski recently shot a video for the W Hotel’s mukbang menu and says his favorite dish from the feast was a garlic aioli, paired with Old Bay-dusted wedge fries. “Old Bay seasoning is nostalgic for me. I grew up nowhere near Maryland, but as kids we always had it at home and my parents would grill swordfish and use it,” Porowski says. “It was a staple in our house. The way for some Americans Heinz ketchup is, we had Old Bay.” Porowski sprinkles the seasoning on popcorn, chicken, and of course, crabs.

He has a soft spot for Domino’s pizza.

Members of the Queer Eye cast visited Capital Hill in April to support the Equality Act. The fast-paced trip (they met with AOC and checked out the cherry blossoms) meant dining-in with room service, desserts at the Watergate Hotel, and late night pizza delivery. What DC hot spot did the pies come from?  “I’m so embarrassed, Porowski says. “It was Domino’s. I like the ultra-thin one and I put an obscene amount of toppings on it.”  

He dined at Rose’s Luxury.

Porowski found time on another trip to bring his best friend/agent to a late-night meal at Aaron Silverman‘s Rose’s Luxury, on Barracks Row. “We were celebrating something, and we decided we wanted to go to a really nice spot and just fully go to town,” Porowski says. The duo ordered  caviar, “awesome oysters,” and a whole dorade.

He has strong feelings about comfort food.

Washingtonians live at the center of today’s political stress storm (even our therapists are losing it), so we asked Porowski what locals should eat to make themselves feel better. Porowski recommends his cookbook’s recipe for hunter’s stew, which is made with two Polish sausages— kielbasa and kabanos. And of course, he pushes his mac and cheese recipes, which include a “wet” version and a rendition topped with crispy bread crumbs. “I had to include two in the cookbook,” Porowski says. “I originally wanted six but my editor told me that was a little overkill.”

 

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Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.