Make Thanksgiving leftovers a reason to celebrate by layering them with fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Antoni and his friends show you how.

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antoni and friends toasting over dinner
u003cemu003eKim Schifino and Matt Johnson (a.k.a. the band Matt & Kim), senior food editor Alyse Whitney, Karen Ho, Antoni Porowski, and Frances Kim cheers.u003c/emu003e
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

The way to Antoni Porowski's heart is through poutine. The moment I uttered the word when we first met, he clutched his hands over his chest and audibly gasped—it has that much of an effect on the Quebec native.

passing dishes of food at friendsgiving
Get the recipes: a href=""Thanksgiving Leftovers Poutine/a and ema href=""Frisée & Escarole Salad/a./em
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

At the time, he was doing a press tour for Queer Eye (the Netflix show where he's the food and wine expert), and I was interviewing him about dinner party hosting etiquette. But we got derailed by our connection to Montreal (he was born there; I went to college just on the other side of the border in Plattsburgh, New York) and our love of poutine. We agreed the classic Canadian combo of fries, cheese curds, and gravy was the ultimate party food. Fast-forward two years and we finally pulled together a fries-based affair.

antoni tossing fries in bowl
Antoni tosses fries with salt.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

Our idea? Make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers by stacking them between layers of homemade fries and cheese curds. Yep, it's as good as it sounds and easy to pull off.

antoni and friends eating dinner laughing
Karen, Antoni, and Alyse enjoy apple tarte tatin for dessert.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

Your fridge will already be stocked with leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, so the toppings for the poutine are taken care of. All you have to do is make the fries, then serve a pile of them on a big ol' platter in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

Just make sure you follow Antoni's main rule: The dress code is casual. "We want friends to come in comfortable clothes and relax," he says. "No one can wear tight clothes and eat poutine—that's a fact. Dress with stretch!"

Tips for the Perfect Poutine Party

1. Layer It On

With cheese fries, the mistake is that all the cheese goes on top and then you reach the bottom and you're like, Where's the cheese? Poutine should be built in layers. A little gravy on the bottom, then fries, cheese curds, leftovers—and repeat.

dipping fries in oil on table
Use an assortment of leftovers like chopped turkey and roasted vegetables.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

2. Don't Forget the Salad

To cut through all that salt and heaviness, make something refreshing—like Frisée & Escarole Salad.with a zippy vinaigrette—that pairs with the poutine.

antoni cooking with friend
Alyse and Antoni add plenty of black pepper to help perk up the salad.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

3. Get Cozy

We like to cram everyone at a smaller table, like at a French bistro, to spark more conversation and keep dinner intimate. Also, invite friends who don't all know each other—it makes things more fun!

antoni's friends drinking wine
Kim and Matt chat with their new pal Frances.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

4. BYO Dessert

If friends ask you what they can bring, ask them to pick up a dessert from their favorite bakery. Warning: The sugar rush may inspire an impromptu dance party. Our playlist was called—wait for it—Poutine on the Ritz. 

desserts and polaroids on table
Shh, no one will mind if you don't make a homemade dessert!
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray
friendsgiving guests dancing on table
The Friendsgiving squad cuts a rug.
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray
antoni in the kitchen cookbook cover
Credit: Courtesy of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

But Wait, There's More!

For more easy, awesome recipes (cheddar-stuffed meatloaf, smoky chicken fajitas), check out Antoni's new cookbook,
Antoni in the Kitchen.