If you've ever seen an episode of Queer Eye, you're probably familiar with how the Fab Five operate. Tan makes sure the show's guests are dressed to the nines, Bobby gives their house an extreme makeover, Antoni teaches them a thing or two about food, Jonathan revamps their beauty routine, and Karamo educates them on culture. All the guys seem like total experts in their field, but as it turns out, Antoni Porowski's life in Montreal didn't involve any culinary training.
Of the Fab Five, Porowski may just be the quietest, but his presence doesn't go unnoticed. The 35-year-old was born in Montreal to parents who had recently emigrated from Poland. Later in life, Porowski and his family moved to West Virginia, although Porowski eventually made a return to Canada.
The Netflix star decided to pursue post-secondary education at Montreal's Marianapolis College and later went on to attend Concordia University, where he earned his Bachelor's in Creative Arts.
Always eager to learn, Porowski moved to New York City post-grad, where he studied acting at the Neighbourhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.
According to Elle, Porowski spent his free time in NYC working in the service industry so that he could pay rent. During this time, he had a chance meeting with OG Queer Eye "food and wine expert" Ted Allen, who actually urged Porowski to audition for the show.
"Because I didn't have a master plan for this, I'm kind of rolling with the punches. I had a bit of impostor syndrome in the beginning, where I felt like I wasn't gay enough or didn't deserve to have this public position. So I said yes to everything," Porowski explained to Elle in an interview.
The star may have struggled to find his footing in the spotlight in the beginning, but he's certainly thriving now — he was even named People Magzine's Sexiest Reality Star for 2019.
In an interview with NME, Porowski acknowledged the fact that he's not actually a professional chef (his skills come from his grandmother's techniques, working in restaurants, and learning from Ted Allen), but he does have a passion for food that makes him deserving of his role on Queer Eye.
"I know my skill set, I never pretended to be a professional chef, I have a respect for them, but I’d never consider myself one, they’re my rockstars. But I am someone who food has been a constant in my life, and it’s been a passion, it’s something that I’ve constantly studied, and I’m constantly trying to better my craft, and that’s good enough for me," Porowski told NME.
If you want to see the Canadian reality star work his food magic up close, be sure to check out seasons one to four of Queer Eye on Netflix, and look out for season five, coming in 2020.