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Snippet of Chew Diligence: Antoni Porowski of Netflix's Queer Eye

From Audio: Antoni Porowski of Netflix's Queer Eye

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station description We start with the food and go beyond the plate to the people, places, and cultures ... read more
Chew Diligence
Duration: 04:48
Antoni sits down with Lindsey and Jill to talk about his culinary background, why he used to say he wasn't a chef, and to discuss his experience with Queer Eye in Kansas City (Season 3).
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Antoni sits down with Lindsey and Jill to talk about his culinary background, why he used to say he wasn't a chef, and to discuss his experience with Queer Eye in Kansas City (Season 3).
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Did you have any culinary background, Um, professional in any way? Or did you just kind of hang out with chefs and learn? I've always had a deep reverence for first chefs. They're like my rock stars. Um, anything from, you know, all of Anthony Bourdain's books to just cookbooks, and my first cookbook ever was Nigella Lawson's Feast, which is still one of my favorites. It's so beautifully written and the way that she ties in like, just pleasure in cooking and entertaining and kind of like doing that as an act of service and like the sensuality of food with the way that she conveys it through her words and her and her TV content as well. She's just amazing, but I've just I've always been deeply obsessed with food. Andi was actually only until recently I had three girlfriends of mine from junior high. When I was in West Virginia, were visiting me in New York, I flew there to see them for one day just to see them. We hadn't seen each other in years, and they were like, kind of like, you know, we're talking over what it was like growing up together and shabaan a One of my friends was like and I was like, Yeah, it's kind of random that this whole thing happened. It doesn't really make sense But here we are. And she was like, No, she's like you were 12 years old, Your parents would be away on trips and we would come over to your house and you hosted dinner parties. A 12 year old on DWI were like grilling vegetables and making all kinds of different things. She's like, I always remember that. And then I spoke to another cousin who was like, Yeah, I remember we were like five or six years old and like you would talk about the virtues of a perfectly, uh, made grilled cheese sandwich and like what kind of cheese is to use? And so I've always kind of had that obsession and just love of talking about food. Um, just learning about it, especially different types from different cultures being raised in Montreal. Super multicultural, very diverse environment. Eso my friends would always bring like, um, you know, weird isn't the word, but like interesting and different dishes to school, and I always wanted to taste them and kind of like know more about them like I've always had that deep curiosity. Eso It's always been there, Um, in terms of working with food in a professional capacity. I've never taken a single cooking class. I learned everything from Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, when other kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons. I was watching them on PBS also, when I would come home from school, Um, during the week, right before Oprah on Discovery Channel. There's a fantastic show called Great Chefs and those great chefs of the world. Are you familiar with it? It's so good, eh? So it's great chefs of the world, great chefs of the Caribbean and great chefs of America. And they were basically these, like super stuffy white top hat chefs who had zero camera presence. Awkward as heck, Um, but they made these beautiful dishes, and I would just watch them with my mother and just kind of be like and shocked by, like, the beauty of these dishes. And then my mother would recreate them. And so I've always been kind of like a viewer on the outside on Ben as I got older and I was no longer living at home and I wasn't spoiled with, like, amazing food. I had to learn how to do it for myself, so I just kind of figured it out. Um, yeah. Self taught, to be sure. Self taught. Yeah, the only food like in terms of a professional capacity was that like that. It's been the one constant in terms of the job that I always had some, whether I was in college university or in between or even up until two years ago, when I was working at Bond Street Sushi, a za manager. I've always worked in restaurants, so I've always loved being around food. I love the performance of being a waiter of knowing about food, of talking about it. Onda just being close to chefs. Aziz. Well, I just love staring at what they dio. Yeah, and you're the first to not call yourself a chef. Well, that's C E. And I don't and I what? I didn't referred. I didn't like referring to myself as a chef and kind of still don't because I have a respect for anybody who pursues uneducated in, um, but I was speaking to a friend of mine who is a really talented photographer and he is very passionate about food as well. He was like Anybody can call themselves a chef if that's what you do for a living. And if that's what a lot of people have jobs where they didn't even go to university to study for, and that sort of had me rethinking it a little bit. I'm still not at a point where I'm comfortable calling myself a chef, because again, I just think about these guys, these women and men who go to culinary school and work in restaurants six or seven days a week during the holidays, and they have 12 or 14 hour days. I'm not saying I don't work hard, but that's a very different kind of life, working like near the fire and with the whole team, and I just don't feel right putting myself in that category. It feels disrespectful
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