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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.