'Queer Eye' star Antoni Porowski on plant-based living, storytelling and opening himself up to the world

Antoni Porowski of Netflix's hit show "Queer Eye" has become a force to be reckoned with, both in the kitchen and outside of it. 

You know him from the tasty and accessible recipes he brings into the consciousness of the show's "heroes," his infectious laugh (and equally heart-melting cry) and likely from his stunning Instagram presence, too. What you might not know about the food expert, though? He's plant-based for the majority of the week, and has been making a conscious effort to prepare dairy-free meals that retain all the flavor you've come to expect from him. 

The breakout star released his first-ever cookbook in September, Antoni in the Kitchen, which reached No.2 on the New York Times Best Sellers list and served as the perfect platform for him to flex his culinary prowess. The project's success also proved that folks are really interested in how Antoni prepares his food. 

Thus, Antoni's latest partnership with Country Crock Plant Butter couldn't be more fitting.

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'Queer Eye' star Antoni Porowski
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: TV personality Antoni Porowski attends the 2019 City Harvest Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: Chrissy Teigen and Antoni Porowski speak onstage at City Harvest: The 2019 Gala on April 30, 2019 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for City Harvest)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 29: Antoni Porowski (L) and Karamo Brown attend the "Gay Chorus Deep South" screening during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on April 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: Antoni Porowski as Boursin and Antoni Porowski Host Farm Fresh Fete Entertaining Evening at a Private Residence on April 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Boursin Cheese)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 4: Tan France, left, and Antoni Porowski from the Netflix series Queer Eye, are seen outside the Capitol after meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: Cast members of "Queer Eye" (left-right) Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness at The Library of Congress on April 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Netflix)
NEW YORK - APRIL 1: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guests Johnathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Tan France during Monday's April 1, 2019 show. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Antoni Porowski attends the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Antoni Porowski -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Antoni Porowski and Sonja Morgan -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Cast from Netflix series "Queer Eye", Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Karamo Brown visit the SiriusXM Studios on March 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, March 18, included Mandy Moore ("This Is Us"), Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown & Tan France ("Queer Eye"), and musical guest Dean Lewis. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) KARAMO BROWN, ANTONI POROWSKI, TAN FRANCE, JONATHAN VAN NESS
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: TRISCUIT unveils new Wheatberry Clusters with Antoni Porowski on March 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Triscuit )
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Antoni Porowski attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 06: Antoni Porowski (L) and Dan Levy attend the 2018 GQ Men of the Year Party at a private residence on December 6, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GQ)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 06: Joey Krietemeyer (L) and Antoni Porowski attends the 2018 GQ Men of the Year Party at a private residence on December 6, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for GQ)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Antoni Porowski attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Actor Antoni Porowski attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Day 2 at the Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Antoni Porowski arrives for the Ketel One family-made vodka celebrates Queer Eye Cast at pre-Emmy Party at Kimpton La Peer Hotel on September 8, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/WireImage,)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: TV personalities Tan France (L) and Antoni Porowski attend Build Brunch to discuss ' Queer Eye' at Build Studio on September 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau (2nd from R) leading the 2018 Montreal Pride parade along with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Canadien actor Antoni Porowski (R) in Montreal, Quebec on August 19, 2018. - (Photo by Eric THOMAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 12: Antoni Porowski attends Netflix's Queer Eye and GLSEN event at NeueHouse Hollywood on August 12, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Antoni Porowski -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 24: (L-R) Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France and Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye attend a Spotify Premium intimate event with Florence + The Machine on June 24, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spotify)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk,Phillip Picardi, Antoni Porowski and Karamo Brown attend Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Cast In Conversation With Teen Vogue at 92nd Street Y on June 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Antoni Porowski attends the NETFLIXFYSEE event for 'Queer Eye' at Netflix FYSEE At Raleigh Studios on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: The cast of Queer Eye, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk at KISS FM Radio Studio's on May 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Chef Antoni Porowski collaborates with Silk to celebrate Bike to Work Week, giving New Yorkers free bikes, coffee and smoothies made with Silk to champion small steps toward a healthier lifestyle on May 16, 2018 in New York City. #ProgressIsPerfection #LoveMySilk (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Silk)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 09: Antoni Porowski attends Karamo Brown's engagement party at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on May 9, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06: Antoni Porowski attends the Netflix FYSee Kick Off Party at Raleigh Studios on May 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06: (L-R) Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness attend the Netflix FYSEE Kick-Off at Netflix FYSEE at Raleigh Studios on May 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Antoni Porowski and Joey Krietemeyer attend City Harvest's 35th Anniversary Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for City Harvest)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Antoni Porowski attends The Center Dinner 2018 at Cipriani Wall Street on April 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Antoni Porowski attends the 15th annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares Fashion Show and Fundraiser at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on April 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: (L-R) Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, and Bobby Berk of Queer Eye attend the 10th Annual Shorty Awards at PlayStation Theater on April 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Shorty Awards)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Antoni Porowski attends the premiere of Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Season 1 at Pacific Design Center on February 7, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Antoni Porowski attend the premiere of Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Season 1 at Pacific Design Center on February 7, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Antoni Porowski attends the premiere of Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Season 1 at Pacific Design Center on February 7, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, and Karamo Brown attend the after party for the premiere of Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Season 1 at the Pacific Design Center on February 7, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Antoni Porowski and guest attend the after party for the premiere of Netflix's 'Queer Eye' Season 1 at the Pacific Design Center on February 7, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: TV personalities (L-R) Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness visit Build Series to discuss TV series 'Queer Eye' at Build Studio on January 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown visit SiriusXM to talk about the 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' reboot at SiriusXM Studios on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Antoni Porowski visits SiriusXM to talk about the 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' reboot at SiriusXM Studios on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy with Andy Cohen visit the Talk Andy show at SiriusXM Studios on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Television personalities Jonathan van Ness and Antoni Porowski (R) attend the Marcel Ostertag front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery II at Spring Studios on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Marcel Ostertag)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Antoni Porowski attends New York Knicks Vs Orlando Magic game at Madison Square Garden on April 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
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The self-professed butter lover is an avid user of Country Crock's newest plant butter, and because its dairy-free flavor derives from olive, avocado or almond oil, it fits perfectly into Antoni's largely plant-based food regimen. The reality star also maintains that it's a crucial part of not sacrificing flavor in the plant-based lifestyle. 

Something Antoni also maintains is that food can have a greater significance in our lives than we think, and is more than just what we put in our mouths. Porowski spoke to us about the vulnerability that comes with sharing his "secrets," via recipes and otherwise, and the responsibility he feels to share his stories -- and the stories of others -- to help make everyone feel a bit less alone.

On why he's excited about Country Crock's Plant Butter:

"Butter is something that a lot of people use - or substitutes for it - and I love that something as iconic as Country Crock, something all of my American friends know and used growing up, is changing things up. I love somebody who takes something that's so traditional and really adapts it to the changing times and where we're headed as a society. A lot of people are choosing plant-based options and not using as much dairy, whether it's a personal choice or due to dietary needs. I just really appreciate it! I think it's really cool that [Country Crock] is so steeped in tradition, and it's always been a great product, but they decided - no, it's 2019, let's continue to be part of the conversation."

His advice for people who are considering going plant-based: 

"During the week I'm more plant-based and during the weekend is when I tend to indulge, but what I really love is when Country Crock came up, and we started having more discussions, I realized that before this, I kind of thought dietary changes had to be aggressive. That's just not the case! I think people get intimidated when they're trying to implement something new in their life, like moving towards a plant-based diet. But really, you can start with small changes and it's sort of like softening the blow at first, which is kind of accommodating, in a way. It doesn't have to be this big dramatic thing all at once. Do what you can, little by little."

On how he uses this plant-based butter in his daily meals:

"The good thing about this product is that it really does taste like butter, and more importantly, it cooks like it. In fact, it has a higher burning point than normal butter, so you don't have to worry about burning anything. Like case and point, when I make salmon fillets... I coat the skin with a little bit of flour -or not - and I use about a tablespoon and a half of the plant butter, which is more than enough for 2-3 fillets in a pan. Brussel sprouts, literally any veggies that you're sautéing, to even a sandwich -- whatever you use traditional butter for you can swap it. It's a one for one ratio, and it perfectly adapts to your dietary needs."

On why he chooses to be largely plant-based:

"There are multiple factors. One is, I opened up a restaurant a year ago and when we first started developing the menu, I had a lot of dairy in it, but when we started to really build out the concept that we wanted to create, which was healthy fast-casual, we thought about how a lot of people are working dairy out of their diets. So keeping that in mind made me a little more open to a plant-based diet. And then secondly, everyone has their vices... for me, it's always been dairy. I'm not here to hate on it, but it's something that I definitely consume probably more than the average human. And what I learned is that when I do limit it... from a vanity perspective, full-disclosure, it's changed my body, among other things!"

On his cookbook:

"On 'Queer Eye,' we teach the heroes how to make something... and it gets edited down to about two minutes at most if we're lucky because there's so much great content we need to fit into one episode. Because of that, I don't think I really had much of an opportunity to showcase recipes and detail. The cookbook was an opportunity, because I have a platform now, for me to share my story through food. The only way I know how to do that is to be personal. It was my first one, and we all kind of worked together - my brothers and my cast mates. I wasn't interested in writing about my life personally yet... I don't feel like I'm quite there, because I think I have a bit of living to do. But through food, that was a story I was ready to tell, and I really wanted to."

On being vulnerable, and sharing parts of himself with the world:

"[Sharing my personal recipes with the world] is not unlike the feeling of when I share something that's personal, or a little more intimate on the show; it's then no longer my secret. It was once something I shared as a private citizen with friends of mine, with my therapist, with mentors, with family, and now it's something that's shared with the world. Because of that, it always is a little happy-sad. Sad because it's no longer just mine because you're giving a part of yourself up with everything that you do. But on the flip side, the stories I hear when I get to bump into people at public speaking events, or even just on the street, people will say 'I really related to you talking about sexuality with AJ in season one episode four, where you talked about the fact that you're actually fluid.' Or, 'I loved that you discussed complicated relationships with family members,' etc. It makes people feel less alone, and I think we need a lot of that.

I think a lot of struggles that people have, they always think that they're the only ones going through it when they're not. I'm learning that the responsibility I now have is to share those stories. Tying it back to the cookbook, I want people to make my recipes - that's great - but I also want people to explore their own memoir."

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