With Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy being binge-watched across America, the spotlight has been cast on a brand new Fab Five—including resident food and wine expert, Antoni Porowski.
On the show, the 33-year-old Montreal native—who was once the personal chef and assistant to original Queer Eye foodie Ted Allen—imparts his culinary knowledge on men looking to overhaul their diet and learn to cook for themselves.
Due to the simplistic recipes he demonstrates on the show (his repertoire includes grilled cheese, avocado salad, and grilled vegetables), Porowski’s kitchen skills have been called into question by some snarky viewers on Twitter. Porowski, though, says the reason for this is that he’s teaching these guys from scratch.
“I remember the first episode I went in and literally did a three-course meal with multiple components and I was thinking ‘Yes, I’m going to show off my skills here and this is going to be a full on cooking show,'” he told PEOPLE ahead of the show’s release. “But what I realized is that it’s the simple little things. This guy had never really prepared a meal for himself.”
Instead, Porowski taught him how to make basic guacamole with avocado, cilantro and lime juice, along with a wildcard ingredient, greek yogurt. “This is somebody who’s never seen the inside of an avocado,” said Porowski. “Like that’s what we’re dealing with.” (The man in question also made his margaritas with Mountain Dew, which Porowski remedied by teaching him how to make them from scratch with real lime juice and sugar.)
“We have to be realistic,” he added. “I’m not going to completely change this person’s way of life in such a short amount of time, but just show that there are healthier options. You may not have access to this amazing farmer’s market the way we do in New York or L.A.”
The reboot, which is currently available for streaming on Netflix, comes fifteen years after the debut of the original show, which Porowski recalled as his “first representation of ‘gay’ on TV.”
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Now in the Trump era, the cast is forced to cross the cultural divide and take on viewpoints that are different from their own. “It’s so easy to stand on opposite ends with our arms crossed, hating on each other,” Porowski said. “But the challenge is fun, because you find out we’re not that different.”