“I’ve actually never really written anything down, and I also don’t cook with precise measuring tools,” Porowski tells PEOPLE of the “arduous” development process while also filming the third season of the hit Netflix show. “So I would basically work during the day, and during little breaks in the trailer I would jot down what the recipe was going to be, pick up the ingredients for the next day, and then when I would show up at home I would make that dish and try it out.”
Writing the book, which will hit stands on Sept. 9 and is now available for preorder, also turned out to be a “very personal” experience for the Montreal native. “My brilliant editor told me to treat this like an autobiography, and look back on your life and look at the recipes that you ate,” he says. “It takes me down this nostalgic trail of my life through food, basically.”
The result was 100 recipes that draw from his various experiences and his Polish heritage. The most personal recipe of the bunch, he says, is Bigos—a polish stew made with cabbage, sauerkraut, and kielbasa. “Growing up, for a large part of my life, I felt this weird shame about being Polish,” he says. “It wasn’t cool to bring ethnic foods to lunch while the other kids had awesome club sandwiches and I was coming in with pickled cabbage and stuff.”
“But now in my thirties I think, as a result of the confidence that’s come from having the show and speaking to a lot of Polish people, I’m more excited to be Polish again and I have more pride in my heritage,” he adds.
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And though he’s known for putting healthier twists on dishes on the show, Porowski says nutrition wasn’t top of mind when developing his recipes. “I love cheese; I don’t shy away from it,” he says. “I love all kinds of animal fats, and this book really is the other side of me. It’s the Antoni during the weekends when I really want to have people over and make like a beautiful pasta dish or a really nice, hearty stew.”
As for the third season of Queer Eye, which premieres this Friday, March 15, Porowski says he’s “not allowed to reveal specifics”—but promises that “inclusivity continues to be the focus.”