Some people think of Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye‘s food and wine expert, not as a culinary master, but eye candy who knows his way around an avocado. In some respects, I understand. I, too, shuddered at the thought of tainting guacamole with Greek yogurt like he did in season 1. However, much of the criticism towards Porowski is misguided. I would instead offer another theory into the growing batch of conspiracies regarding his culinary talents. It’s not that Porowski can’t cook, it’s just that he wishes every meal were breakfast. I will now disect the food made in every episode of Queer Eye to prove this.
Episode 1: The infamous yogurt guacamole
“I’m, like, a dairy freak,” Porowski says as he adds Greek yogurt to mashed avocados, cilantro, and lime juice. While I wouldn’t call this mixture guacamole, I think Porowski actually created a killer avocado toast spread: packed with protein and fat, if you smeared this “guac” on a slice of multigrain toast or a bagel and added some red pepper flakes, I’d be totally happy.
Episode 2: Grilled cheese, but with other stuff
Porowski attempts to jazz up a classic grilled cheese by adding sauteed leeks. Earlier in the episode, we watch a chef at a local restaurant make another version of the sandwich with iberico ham. Honestly, this sounds like we’re two-thirds of the way to a twist on a bacon, egg, and cheese; and if you added buttery leeks, it would only get better.
Episode 3: Knife skills, salad, and sangria
Not only does Porowski supreme a grapefruit with ease—this isn’t just willy-nilly slicing!—he avoids avocado hand, and then makes a lovely salad that I would probably have to pay $16 for at a NYC spot at 11 a.m. on a Sunday. He also makes a pitcher of sangria, which I’m sure we’ve all found at one boozy brunch table or another.
A love supreme. The key here is making sure you cut off all excess pith from the grapefruit pieces and use a perfectly ripe avocado. Cory mastered this healthy yet decadent salad in episode 3 and so can you. @queerye @netflix
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Episode 4: Arepa sandwiches and Infrared grilling
Embracing the Tex-Mex food their subject AJ ate growing up, Porowski demos how to stuff an arepa with queso fundido (also known as hot melted cheese, also also known as everything I want to eat for brunch when I’m hungover) and grilled vegetables.
Episode 5: Slow-cooker magic and beige buttery bread
Though we don’t see Porowski put the dish together, he makes an excellent point of praising the slow-cooker to make chili. We may be partial to the Instant Pot over here, but a breakfast of chili and cornbread honestly sounds delightful. This is also the episode where Porowski says to put a slice of pork tenderloin and caramelized onions on a buttered slice of bread—this is absolutely the kind of leftovers breakfast I have made for myself while standing in front of the still-open fridge. I get it.
Episode 6: Strange mac and cheese, but decent punch
I honestly can’t talk about how much I want to avoid cottage cheese in a recipe for mac and cheese, but I can say that it is an Extremely Breakfast Ingredient. As for whiskey punch, I wouldn’t turn down a glass of that bad boy (but let’s pray it’s at least noon).
Episode 7: We don’t cook in this episode but I did see a blender
Porowski probably really wanted to show that you can cook for yourself even if you’re living in your parents basement (smoothies! no-bake granola bars! salad!), but sadly, there were no cooking segments in this episode.
Episode 8: Dirtbag but pretend it’s fancy
I love Porowski’s attempts to help the show’s subjects who are, for the most part, men who have little free time and/or no interest in cooking something that’s not a protein smoothie. In the season 1 finale, we see that Porowski is all of us. He wants to eat a hot dog with crushed potato chips on top, but he also wants to be a member of the Finer Things Club, so he adds pickled vegetables and DIY condiments. Porowski: We, the dirtbags of Extra Crispy, see you, and we appreciate you.
For a brief moment in time yesterday, it felt like summer in NYC, and I was reminded of grilling hawt dawgs at Covington Fire Dept (ep.8). This makeshift indoor version satiated my hunger for warmer outdoor nights: A pair of buttered and grill-pan kissed potato rolls carry butterfly-cut and scored chorizo I cooked on the same pan, rendering some of their fat to get ‘em nice and crispy. Toppings were kept simple, with a Dijon and honey mix, as well as an homage to another QE hero, Cory Waldrop, who introduced me to the virtues of pickled okra. I saw them in the jarred veg aisle when I was looking for carrots and opted for this Southern specialty instead. Recipes should be allowed to evolve and change, just as the people executing them. This particular one appeased my longing to be back on set and reminded me that learning is a two-way street. Also it’s f#%^¥ng delicious, so yeah. [email protected]
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Episode 9: I love mayo too
Season 2’s premiere actually shows less of Porowski’s cooking skills and leaves it up to their subject Tammye and her family’s talent. True Southerners, they make a macaroni salad with about five jars of mayonnaise—no shade here whatsoever, I absolutely love mayo, and every breakfast is better with its addition. Fried green tomatoes are prepared as well (yes, that is my stomach growling). There is also a stunning banana pudding in this episode, and if you’ve never eaten that for breakfast I don’t think we can be friends anymore.
Episode 10: Green goddess FTW
Porowski’s green goddess dip was probably my favorite thing he made on the show. He blended together fresh herbs, jalapeño, scallions, and of course, avocado and more! Greek! yogurt! I would put this dressing on everything.
Episode 11: Unitaskers are evil
All Porowski wanted to do in this episode was show a father named Leo how to make fresh pasta. Though they used a hand-crank pasta machine earlier in the episode, in an attempt to make things easier for their subject, purchased him a pasta maker, which basically doesn’t work. While we at Extra Crispy firmly believe in breakfast pasta, we also tend to despise unitaskers.
Episode 12: Finger food is messy but it tastes good
While I don’t think eating lime juice-tossed peanuts with your hands is a good idea for a multi-person gathering, I would happily snack on this mixture of roasted peanuts, red onion, cilantro, and lime, as second breakfast, which is one of my favorite meals.
Episode 13: Fish are friends and also food
Skylar, this episode’s subject, loves sushi, so Porowski shows him how to make poke. While I can’t say I’m brave enough to make poke at home, when I was in Hawaii last summer I made a game of wandering around various Honolulu shops to feast on fish for breakfast.
Episode 14: Everything can be solved with crispy rice
Porowski makes tahdig, a Persian dish of baked rice and saffron-kissed yogurt (yes, more yogurt!). Having personally made tahdig for brunch on several occasions, I can attest to this being an excellent use of screen time and oven space.
Mondays are usually met with a carb and sugar hangover, my body begging for some nutrition, but no energy to cook a proper meal. Cue the wonderful egg: A delicate French omelette. Does mine look like a massive quenelle the way this classic should? Nope. I tend to overdo stuffing mine (perhaps a nod to my excessive and indulgent personality/nature, I suppose), here with crispy baby Bellas and Fontina. The key is to cut the mushrooms as thin as possible and sauté w a bit of olive oil and cook them until they are crispy, just before burning. Mushy mush (pun!) will only void you of enjoying their earthy flavor and keep your omelette a sloppy-ass mess. The cheese should be grated on a micro plane so that it melts to oozy perfection. As for the omelette, you’ll see me demo one in due time (working on content!) but until then, YouTube Jacques Pépin and he’ll show you with effortless ease and class how to make this staple part of your weekly arsenal. Serve w arugula, shallots, evoo, good salt and pepper. Finish with confetti of chives and voilà. [email protected]
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Episode 15: Ooh, la la l’omelet
Further evidence of Porowski’s cooking skills are demonstrated with his French omelet-rolling technique. I didn’t learn how to roll an omelet until I enrolled myself in a culinary program, so it’s safe to say the 18-year-old subject of this episode is about to be far ahead of all of us in the breakfast department.
Episode 16: More breakfast salad!
A salad of grilled peaches and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil is my dream summer breakfast. I will say nothing more other than if Porowski came over to my house to make it for me I’d be a happy camper.
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