Queer Eye food expert Antoni Porowski walked into the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen just minutes after receiving some news that nearly brought him to tears: His book, Antoni in the Kitchen, had reached number two on The New York Times bestsellers list.
“I beat the love languages!” said Antoni, referencing the wildly popular Five Love Languages relationship book. “I love the love languages!”
The news was just the cherry on top (or, as Antoni might put it, the sprinkle of flaky salt on top) of an emotional week as he traveled the country with his cookbook, speaking, signing and meeting fans. Throughout the tour, which was sponsored by Williams Sonoma, fans shared with him how much is presence on Queer Eye inspired them to live their most authentic lives and how his attitude towards food helped them want to cook more. “It’s not all smiling and signing cookbooks,” said Antoni of the tour. “It has been a really meaningful experience.”
Antoni wasn’t always such a food pro. In fact, it wasn’t until he was seventeen years old and was kicked out of his parents’ house that he had to learn to cook for himself. “Cooking was always something we watched my mom do, not something we did ourselves,” remembers Antoni.
Learning to cook was a rough road filled with plenty of mistakes in the kitchen. “The first time I tried to make eggplant parm, which is now one of my favorite meals, I didn’t even know the oil had to be hot before you added the eggplant,” he says. “It was a very soggy eggplant parm.” Another time, he added cold water to a hot pan, resulting in a plume of scalding hot steam. “I almost burned my face off!”
But, he kept coming back to the kitchen for comfort and inspiration. “What I love about cooking is that you never know everything,” says Antoni. “That’s what keeps it interesting.”
The star recently moved into a new home in Manhattan, which meant an entirely new kitchen to design and stock. Here, a few of his Williams Sonoma favorites that made the cut in his new cooking space.
“I love the shape of these wine glasses. Plus, they’re pricy enough to care about them, but if you break one you don’t have to feel like total human garbage.”
“This machine is amazing because it heats up quickly and you can make a lot of espresso at once,” says Antoni. “Since my apartment is basically an airport lounge now, I really need good espresso!”
“These are the only Japanese knives I can use because I have such giant hands.”
“The short ones are the perfect size for a square cocktail ice cube and some Scotch on the rocks. The tall ones are perfect for smoothies.”
“This stuff is gorgeous. Do I have the fish poacher? I absolutely do. Will I ever use it? Who knows! It looks great though.”
“I have two of these, one for my coarse Kosher salt and one for my regular salt. I love the magnetic closure and the way it slides open and closed. So satisfying.”
“The design on these machines are amazing. I actually want to showcase these in my kitchen! I feel like a total badass with my four-slice toaster.”
“This is the thing I use more than anything else in my kitchen. I’m officially obsessed with it.”