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Antoni Porowski Talks Unleashed LGBTQ+, the Next Steps of His Career, & More

Antoni Porowski Talks Unleashed LGBTQ+, the Next Steps of His Career, & More


Antoni Porowski Talks Unleashed LGBTQ+, the Next Steps of His Career, & More
Shutterstock/Unleashed LGBTQ+

The beloved foodie and Queer Eye star talked to Out ahead of his appearance at Dallas' Unleashed LGBTQ+ conference

byraffy

Texas is the place to be this weekend!

As we previously announced, the Unleashed LGBTQ+ conference and entertainment festival is taking over Dallas (for the first time in-person!) this weekend to bring lucky attendees some of the best and brightest names from all sorts of different industries together for speaking engagements, panels, performances, and so much more.

Queer Eye’sAntoni Porowski, Pose’s Dyllón Burnside and Indya Moore, Bros writer and star Billy Eichner, and Mean Girls Daniel Franzese are all slated to attend and headline!

Out got the chance to speak to Antoni before his Saturday appearance at Unleased LGBTQ+, and we caught up with the Queer Eye star to chat more about his fave Texas spots, his career in entertainment so far, what he still wants to accomplish, and more.

Out: So Unleashed LGBTQ+ is coming to Dallas. And obviously, you have a special connection to Texas since you were living there during filming. What's your favorite memory of Texas? And do you have a go-to spot wherever you go to visit?

Antoni Porowski: Oh my gosh. So many. I have to say I've loved everywhere I've had a chance to work over the past few years, but I would say that Texas has a very special place in my heart. That's where, when the pandemic hit, I fostered and then adopted my dog Neon who literally just came back from dog camp and she's staring outside, looking at the clouds because she's freaked out about storms. So Austin Pets Alive! is a really great, great place and I love the work that they do. And I've been back there a couple of times since getting Neon.

And then, you know, there's ThoroughBread, which is my favorite bakery. They do an incredible Nutella-filled banana cookie that they deliver warm and there's a pb&j that I really love as well. Suerte is a fantastic restaurant. I just love Austin and all of the city. It's so outdoorsy. There are so many running paths and lakes from Lake Austin to Ladybird to all the different trails. It's such a great special city that I think under any other circumstance I probably would have had the opportunity to really take advantage and to really enjoy. And so I could say that I considered it home for, you know, the better part of 2020 then 2021 when we were back. So, but yeah, I truly do love it.

How excited are you to be speaking at Unleashed LGBTQ+ this month, especially since it's bringing together so many different queer luminaries from all sorts of industries. Why do you think it's important for events like this to exist and who are some other speakers and panelists that you're excited to meet or hear from and work with?

Not necessarily work with them, but I'm just really excited by what they have to say. Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality, which I think is such an important organization, especially right now with everything that's going on in this country.

I think events like this are incredibly important and very often they're held in, you know, your coastal cities like LA and New York. But to have something like this in the South, I just think it is very important, especially for states like Texas, which is the understatement of the century.

Visibility is incredibly important. To see people who are successful in a group achieve a certain amount of success whether they're poets or activists or entertainers or whatever, it is a large organized networking event like this. I think it is important to not only see ourselves and these other people who have accomplished a lot of things, but also people who we want to aspire to be. What I love about what Unleashed LGBTQ+ is doing is that they're extremely community-driven and really bring people together. And that's something that I'm just grateful to be a part of that.

It's also hard to believe that it's already been like five years since your career in entertainment really took off. Has it felt like that long to you? And is it still surreal to, you know, be the go-to expert when it comes to food on Queer Eye and have so many people come to you and think of you when they think of all things culinary?

It is kind of wild. I mean, on the one end, I feel like the past five years have been 20 years, with some of the number of things that I've been able to do and accomplish that I'm really proud of and just keeping busy. But on the other end, I kind of feel like I've just gotten started. I have been receiving some really incredible opportunities, but there are a lot of other things that I definitely want to do as well in terms of writing, getting into scripted content, and more documentary-driven content.

The more that I immerse myself in the entertainment industry, the more potential I see for the types of stories that I want to tell and the projects that I want to be a part of. So it's definitely like a mixed bag of the deals that had happened yesterday, but also like, I'm exhausted.

What do you say is one of the most memorable things that has happened to you in these five years so far?

Meeting my partner, who was a boyfriend, who became my partner, who became my fiancé. And now we're kind of planning our wedding. That's something that I always wanted to find. My perfect match and the person I wanted to build a life and a family with. When you have that feeling, it's something that's just incredibly, incredibly beautiful and it took a long time to get there as well. Being part of the community, I hear that a lot that we all didn't necessarily have a lot of examples growing up. And the scary part of that is, is that we don't have anyone to role model ourselves off of. But the exciting part is that you kind of get to forge your own path.

Obviously, you do a lot of cooking on TV. But when you get home from a long day's work, what do you like to do? What do you like to watch? What are you doing to relax at home? I'm sure it's not cooking.

Honestly, it really depends on the day. I'll cook if I've been traveling a lot and all I want to do is have a home-cooked meal because I just want to be in control. I also get lazy and sometimes I just want like a salad or a soup or whatever it is.

Part of my ritual is every day, especially when I'm just here and I'm with my dog, is going to the park and just walking around the city. Get her all hungry, get to make her a nice little dinner, and then sit down. I always aspire to watch something from the Criterion Collection and just see kind of like a cool, edgy, indie film. I just watched Past Lives, and it's 12 out of 10, I highly recommend.

But I also just end up watching a lot of Housewives. I'm back on the early seasons of Atlanta and Bevetly Hills. And Girls. I've rewatched Girls.

And just to wrap things up on a fun note for fans who are really looking forward to seeing what you do at Unleashed LGBTQ+, can you tease a little of what you're doing live on stage during your cooking presentation and what's it gonna entail? Maybe like a little taste? A teaser!

So that's a very good question. I'm actually still debating, some suggestions were made. I have a very short amount of time and limited resources, which I love because we got to keep it kind of simple.

I'm still trying to figure it out. Coming up with something that's quick and easy is a lot more challenging to figure out than something that's more complicated and long because you want to make it fresh for somebody. You want to teach somebody something that they don't know and have some kind of a takeaway. So I'm going by process of production. So unfortunately, I don't have any inkling, but I do promise that it will be simple and hopefully, it will be delicious!

For more information on Unleashed LGBTQ+, visit their official website.

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out. Follow him on Twitter (@byraffy) and Instagram (@raffyermac), and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out. Follow him on Twitter (@byraffy) and Instagram (@raffyermac), and subscribe to his YouTube channel.