When it comes to inspiration for his new hosting job on Netflix’s Easy-Bake Battle, Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski admits he looks more towards Ina Garten than he does Gordon Ramsay. Antoni has been Queer Eye‘s food and wine expert since the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy revival debuted on Netflix. While fans eagerly await the New Orleans-set Queer Eye season 7, Antoni has taken on a new role as the host of Easy-Bake Battle, eschewing his epicurean station on Queer Eye for that of culinary-competition judge and host.
In an interview with ET Canada, Antoni spoke about the icons he modeled himself after when going from expert to presenter for Easy-Bake Battle. The first suggestion during the interview was that Antoni looked to Gordon Ramsay for inspiration, which drew stunned disbelief from the Queer Eye host. Antoni explained that he cannot be Gordon because “I apologize for taking up air in the room when I come in.” He instead pointed to a kinder model for his hosting style: Ina Garten. “I am not comparing myself to her talent at all,” Antoni said, but “Ina Garten comes off as gentle and unintimidating.”
While Antoni may distance himself from Gordon’s reality TV reputation, there are moments with him that feel as brutal as the famously hot-tempered chef. When Keshia Chanté from ET Canada asked which other member of Queer Eye‘s Fab 5 would succeed on Easy-Bake Battle, Antoni didn’t have to wait for the end of the question to respond. “Tan,” he stated flatly, adding, “sorry, that was too quick.” With a slightly sarcastic flourish, he ended his assessment by saying, “I should have pretended to think about that for a second,” a cut-down worthy of any great Kitchen Nightmares episode. Queer Eye fans know that Tan has multiple areas of expertise, and now it is confirmed, at least according to Antoni, that Tan would be the only other Fab 5 member to make the jump to cooking-competition shows.
Shifting to a new genre and a new program can be difficult for even the most popular television personality. For every Ted Allen and Chopped, there is a Carson Kressley and How to Look Good Naked. There is no guarantee that what worked on one show will translate over to the next, so it is vitally important to have a solid foundation from which to build. Easy-Bake Battle attempts to create a welcoming atmosphere for its home cooks, and using the Barefoot Contessa herself as a model creates a perfect foundation for this new series. Antoni’s status as a celebrity chef is well established, but it is nascent compared to some of the titans of the culinary world. Finding something that worked before and building off of that is a better guarantee of success for the Queer Eye star.
It is clear that Netflix knows this and is positioning Easy-Bake Battle through the same strategy. Potential viewers are lured in with footage of Antoni judging next to Nailed It‘s Jacques Torres, linking the neophyte host with one of their veterans who is known for his upbeat demeanor. This new show looks to build a vibrant and welcoming vibe, as seen by their choice of Netflix’s in-house talent, who helps give Queer Eye its feel-good reputation. Full competition shows are uncharted territory for Antoni, but success is formed from combinations like his own winning personality and those who have shaped the format before him. While the success of Queer Eye shows no signs of flagging, Antoni’s new role built upon Ina’s prestigious personality could help land him a well-honed side hustle for seasons to come.
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Source: ET Canada