“Queer Eye’s” Antoni Porowski to host virtual cooking event at SDSU


Gracie Terrall, News Editor (She/Her)

The South Dakota State University Program Council (UPC) is hosting “Queer Eye’s” Antoni Porowski for a virtual cooking demonstration and Q&A session at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 6.

According to Kalli Mueller, arts coordinator for UPC, Porowski will be answering questions about college students and cooking.

“He’ll answer questions that are more tailored to college students,” Mueller said. “For instance, ‘If I’m in a rut for cooking, what could I make easily and what are some staple ingredients to keep in a college student’s kitchen?’”

A majority of the Q&A will be monitored by Mueller, but Porowski will take open questions from the audience at the end of the event.

Porowski started a cooking series on YouTube at the start of quarantine to help people learn to cook from home. While Tuesday’s event is not part of the chef’s series, this opened up the opportunity for Porowski to do other forms of cooking shows.

In the past year, he has done virtual demonstrations for other universities as well.

In August 2020, Porowski hosted a similar event at Penn State University and made a French-style vinaigrette salad while answering questions from the audience about cooking, sexuality and general life advice. It has not been revealed yet what Porowski will be cooking for SDSU.

Porowski is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning star of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” a show where Porowski and four other LGBTQ people, known as the Fab Five, transform every aspect of a person’s life like their fashion, mental health, home and cooking habits.

Typically, Porowski will help orient people in their own kitchens and teach them healthy cooking methods.

“It’s not a cooking show. It’s not about my skill set,” Porowski said in a 2018 GQ interview. “ It’s about figuring out how we can contribute to the lives of these people in a very short amount of time. … If you just have these people start thinking differently about the food, I think then I’m happy with that. I feel like my job is done if that curiosity [for food] is there.”

Christian Heilman, a senior sociology major at SDSU, has been an avid fan of Porowski and “Queer Eye” since the show aired in 2018.

“I was introduced to it by a friend and I instantly fell in love with it,” Heilman said. “I was really drawn to (Porowski) because of his sincerity and love for cooking. … On the show, he genuinely seems happy to be there and I can tell he doesn’t see it as a job, but as a way to help others.”

Heilman said he plans on attending the event and if given the chance, would ask Porowski about where his favorite place to work in the restaurant industry was before he was on “Queer Eye.”

“I am curious to see how he rose in the industry,” Heilman said. “Everyone has to start somewhere.”

Tickets for the event are $5 for SDSU students, $10 for the general public and $7 for neighboring South Dakota Board of Regent Schools. This includes Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, Northern State University, Black Hills State and the School of Mines.

Registration for the event is open until April 6.

Mueller hopes to see a large audience for the event, as SDSU has not hosted a big name like Porowski in a long time. She also said that this is an opportunity to showcase diversity and inclusion to SDSU students.

“This event is important not only for a professional chef to inspire students to pursue culinary, but also for the LGBTQ community to be recognized, included and inspired in the same way,” Heilman said.

Tickets for the event can be purchased on the UPC’s sdstate page.