You may recognize Josh Elkin as the chef of Canadian YouTube cooking show Epic Meal Time. Elkin has invented a variety of poutine creations, including items like Poutine Dumplings and Deep-Fried Sushi Poutine.

But the Poutine Tornado is undeniably Elkin’s most epic poutine riff to date. It features one massive curly fry spiraled around cheese curds. The whole thing is filled with gravy “until it starts to pour out the sides of the tornado.”

Playing God and reinventing the poutine. This is the Poutine Tornado.

A photo posted by Josh Elkin (@epicmook) on


Why take poutine, a Canadian classic, and turn it on its head? “Regular poutines are amazing and you can’t really argue that. You can pretty much construct it in any format, and it’ll taste awesome,” says the chef. “This offers a new take on it, sort of a natural disaster for your taste buds.”

Elkin has yet to receive any criticism from traditionalists, but notes that “there’s always time for the haters to come out of the woodwork.”

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Classic poutine, for your reference. (Photo: @mileenddeli)


Because the EMT chef is always innovating, he says he’d like to use the same construction technique to craft a cinnamon roll cyclone, or a sweet potato tornado filled with marshmallows and maple syrup. Here’s Elkin’s recipe, so you can try your hand at creating a Poutine Tornado at home. This is sure to impress even the most jaded of food-snob dinner guests.

How to Make a “Poutine Tornado”

Makes one tornado

Tools and Ingredients:

  • Deep Fryer
  • Metal Spoon
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 cup of Quebec cheese curds
  • 1 cup of brown gravy of your choice
  • Deep frying oil

Step 1: Slice the top and bottom end of the potato. Make sure its as even as possible so the potato can stand upright on its own.

Step 2: Start to scoop of a hole in the centre of the smaller end of the potato. Continue to dig out a hole with the spoon in a circular motion until you are about 1/2 an inch from the other end of the potato (the bottom)

Step 3: Using a paring knife, trace a spiral on the outside of the russet potato.Cut out the spiral exposing the flesh of the potato. At this point you can see the shape of the tornado coming together.

Step 4: Cut through the potato on two sides of the spiral. You want to cut into the hole you made earlier making sure not to cut too far on either side of the spiral in order to avoid the whole thing collapsing.


Step 5: Heat your cooking oil to 300 degrees F. Fry the potato for about 4 minutes. Take it out and increase the heat to 400 degrees F. Fry the potato again for 3 minutes. [A note on double frying from Elkin: “As any well versed cook knows, to get the ultimate crispy potato one must double fry. Without that you end up with a sloppy softy, and there’s nothing worse than biting into a limp potato.”]

Step 6: Fill the hole of the Potato with the cheese curds. Fill the hole with the gravy until the gravy starts to pour out the sides of the tornado.

Step 7: Feast.

[via Instagram/@epicmook, Twitter]

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