In Conversation with Queer Eye’s Food & Wine Guru Antoni Porowski

Antoni Poroswki.

Earlier this month, foodies from all over the city gathered at Hotel X for a live cooking demonstration with Netflix‘s Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski. The television personality reconnected with his Canadian roots through his recent Scotiabank partnership honouring the newly refreshed Scotiabank Gold American Express card. Rebuilt with the modern consumer in mind, the card’s reward program caters perfectly to the millennial lifestyle by offering incredible benefits for spending on the things we love, like streaming (Queer Eye, of course), entertainment, and dining. The card is all about being rewarded for how you live your life. Ahead of his cooking class, we sat down with Antoni to discuss his Scotiabank partnership, his favourite recipes, and what to expect for the upcoming seasons of Queer Eye.

ON HIS PARTNERSHIP WITH SCOTIABANK

“I get to have a lot of brand partnerships and everything that I do with my life as of the past two years always feels like it’s an extension of Queer Eye, because without it, I wouldn’t have any of this. That’s the truth of the matter. But when you do something that has meaning, it’s hard to do things that don’t when you know what that feels like. I always try to find a personal story behind whatever it is that I decide to do.”

ON HIS CONNECTION TO THE BRAND

“Amex is important to me because of my very obsessive father who hates a foreign transaction fee and I remember the first European trip I ever took. I went to France and Amex was a card that I used because you don’t have to pay for those fees. I don’t want to piss my dad off and I only like to make him happy. So it just made sense, and I get to be in Canada, which is still my number one—it’s nothing but a fit.”

ON HIS FAVOURITE RECIPES FROM ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN

“My Polish hunter’s stew is something that’s very near and dear to my heart—it’s called Bigos. It’s a recipe that I was ashamed of when I was growing up when it didn’t feel cool to be ethnic. When I started working at Stash Cafe—which is an awesome Polish restaurant in Montreal—I fell back in love with it again. It makes you go to the market and get all the ingredients. It’s the quintessential soul food, and I put my own personal my spin on it. Most Polish people put beer in it, but I put red wine to give it a beef bourguignon quality and make it a little more sumptuous and stewy. Also, the wet or the baked mac and cheese. I wanted to have six different types of mac and cheese in my cookbook, but my co-author didn’t let me, so we’ve limited it to two. The dry mac and cheese is baked until you get a perfect golden crust on top with Panko breadcrumbs. The wet has peas in it because I do think that peas belong in mac and cheese. It was showcased in the “Renaissance of Remy” episode in Season One.”

ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR QUEER EYE

“We filmed Season Five in Philadelphia, which is coming out sometime next year. We also filmed four episodes in Tokyo, Japan—it was an incredible time. That comes out on November 1st. I think they’re our most emotional episodes yet in terms of how we address the cultural nuances and the differences that we have, but at the same time, figuring out that people are the same everywhere. We all have the same needs. We all struggle through the same things in our relationships. We all want to be better people and show up for people that we love—it’s the universality of everything that we do.”

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