Before the internet cried “Antoni can’t cook,” critics should have taken a scroll way back through his Instagram account.
On the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, Antoni Porowski serves as the Fab 5’s resident food expert. While the other four are off overhauling the home, hairstyle, closet, and mind of each episode’s starring dude, Antoni’s tasked with making over his diet.
There are pantry assessments and trips to local markets. Later, Antoni introduces his subjects to easy dishes like creamy guacamole, gourmet grilled cheeses, or a grapefruit and avocado salad. In the third episode, Antoni teaches cop/dad Cory to skewer fruit as a garnish for homemade sangria.
But to the internet’s armchair chefs, these recipes hardly registered as cooking.
In a (very funny) piece for Junkee last month, Patrick Lenton questioned Antoni’s seemingly simplistic menu selections: “For a bunch of firefighters, he makes hot dogs. For a Trump-voting cop, he literally places cut avocado next to slices of cut grapefruit and pretends it’s a salad. What the hell is going on?”
Antoni’s addressed the criticisms during recent interviews. In a Q&A with GQ, he thoughtfully defended his approach:
“It’s not a cooking show. It’s not about my skillset. It’s about figuring out how we can contribute to the lives of these people in a very short amount of time. It has to be very fact based and in a simple way. If you just have these people start thinking differently about the food, I think then I’m happy with that. Then I feel like my job is done if that curiosity is there.”
And in a delightful and vindicating New York Times profile headlined, “Antoni Porowski Can Cook,” he acknowledged the pain that comes with online criticism.
“Mr. Porowski, 33, said that he tries his best to ignore the noise, but admitted that it hurts to hear, not least because he knows that an act as elementary as cutting open a fruit can be eye-opening for some people.”
It isn’t Antoni’s fault that there’s so little time for Queer Eye to show off his sharper kitchen skills. The men at the center of each episode have straight-leg jeans to try on and stand-up comedy sets to bomb. And as Antoni noted in GQ, not every dish he prepares makes it into the show.
But rather than asking Antoni to defend his skills in the kitchen, we should be looking where internet sleuths always do when we need answers: his Instagram account.
Namely, his…entire Instagram archive…
…which we scrolled through.
(So sorry, Antoni).
With just 226 photos posted since 2013, all it takes is a quick look back through time to prove that the Fab 5 food expert knows his way around a kitchen.
His very first post, dated May 26, 2013, shows Porowski stirring what looks to be a promising side dish to the roast chicken resting on his stove. A great start!
Italian market artichokes, plus some preparation notes for the novices out there. We’re getting somewhere.
Beyond the massive steak (courtesy, per Antoni’s caption, of Queer Eye 1.0 veteran Ted Allen), the key detail here is the box of Maldon Salt.
These flaky crystals are chef – and royal!!!!! – approved, and avid home cooks who know what’s up have a box of this on their counters at all times. Plus one for good salt.
Two things: Note the Dean & Deluca shopping bag (+1 for $$$ specialty food stores) and the Vitamix blender (+1 for $$$ kitchen appliances). Porowski knows the power of finer things!!! Plus, I am certain this soup was hearty and delicious.
An appreciation for tiny heirloom tomatoes!
The browning! The butter! The herbs! We would not be having this debate had Antoni seared beef filets on-camera.
Beautiful caramelization on these brussels sprouts from 2015, plus more of that “good salt.”
He does fish, too! AND crispy prosciutto, which is like bacon, but fancy.
Shoutout to this Le Creuset roast chicken situation, with a bed of root veggies to soak up the fat and juices.
Plum clafoutis! Who knew Antoni does dessert?
It’s all right here. It’s always been right here.