As far as Michelin stars go, you would expect fancy dining and a lengthy wine list.
But for Australian cook, Sam Edelman, this doesn’t seem to be a limitation.
For his KFC franchise in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, he wants KFC to be ‘more than just a fast food place.’
His branch is one of the most remote in the world, as it is situated in the Outback and Sam says people travel for thousands of miles to have the chicken.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s about time it got recognised as not just a fast food place.
‘We use fresh chickens that are delivered into the store everyday and hand breaded in our kitchen by our cooks. There is some skill involved.’
The 37-year-old is on a mission to get Michelin Guide to notice his restaurant as a viable contender for the coveted restaurant.
Since Michelin doesn’t publish in Australia, he is going to extra lengths to get the Guide to notice him by setting up a Facebook group called ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken deserves a Michelin Star’.
There are specific requirements to the process towards a Michelin star.
To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered ‘a very good restaurant in its category.’
For two stars, the criteria is ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour.’
To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up ‘exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey’ to which Sam said that he has no doubt he has achieved.
The idea came to him when he saw a Netflix show called Street Foods and a Bangkok street vendor was awarded a Michelin star.
He said: ‘There’s a show on Netflix called Street Food. A couple weeks I watched it and the first episode is about a street vendor in Bangkok who has a Michelin star.
‘Traditionally I’d always thought that the Michelin star was the peak of fine dining, you have to have a fancy wine list and spectacular dining experience.
‘There was a cut away shot that showed a KFC advertisement in there and it kinda gave me the idea.
‘On a basic level, we meet the criteria. If this street vendor can get the Michelin star why can’t we?
‘My KFC in Alice Springs is in a unique position. The criteria for two stars is ‘excellent cooking worth a detour or exceptional cuisine worth a special journey’.
‘We have people who come to our KFC from 500km or 1000km away and they will expressly come in with the full intent to buy a bucket of KFC chicken while they are in town.’
And people have made journeys that both require a plane ride and block booking for a whole town given that it’s the most remote KFC in the world.
He added: ‘My KFC is the most remote KFC in the world and that’s what sets me apart. I know people make a journey to come to my restaurant. I know that my team put their heart into making the best KFC they can make.
‘I’ve had customers who have come from 1300km away. We have done a catering order for a gold mine that was in Western Australia – we’re in the Northern Territory.
‘It was AUS$1000 order. They ordered a private hire car to collect the order and take it straight to the airport. They chucked it on the plane and flew it to the gold mine.
‘The closest town is 600km from us, and they will buy around 6 buckets and buy for the neighbourhood. It’s good food accessible to everyone.’
Originally from Melbourne, Sam Edelman has been in Alice Springs for nine years, buying the business seven years ago and becoming the franchisee.
He said: ‘I’ve had my franchise at Alice Springs as a franchisee for seven years and I have worked in Alice Springs in the KFC for nine years. But in about a week, I would have worked in KFC for twenty years.
‘I started as a cook when I was still at high school.
‘I think that puts us in a unique position – excellent cooking. If there was only one KFC in the world, regardless of mine or another, it would be regarded as excellent cooking so that’s where I’m going with it.
‘Good food is for everyone. Good food is not just meant to be for fine dining. So I thought, “Bucket, why not give it a go”.’
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