KFC owner petitioning for Michelin star recognition: 'Good food is for everyone'

A KFC owner in Australia’s Outback is petitioning for a Michelin star, believing his fast-food franchise worthy of the high accolade.

Sam Edelman, 37, who owns a KFC outpost in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, wants it to be “recognized as not just a fast food place,” he said to Metro, despite the fact that the Michelin Guide does not publish in Australia.

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“We use fresh chickens that are delivered into the store every day and hand breaded in our kitchen by our cooks. There is some skill involved,” he continued.

Edelman has started a Facebook group campaigning for the award, called “Kentucky Fried Chicken deserves a Michelin Star.”

According to Edelman’s page, the chef believes the restaurant meets the criteria of a Michelin star — one star is for “a very good restaurant in its category”; two stars, a restaurant has “excellent cooking, worth a detour”; for three, a restaurant must offer “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

“On a basic level, we meet the criteria. If this street vendor can get the Michelin star why can’t we?” referring to a street food vendor in Bangkok, Thailand, who has a Michelin Star and was featured on Netflix’s “Street Food” series.

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“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,” he added to Metro.

Edelman thinks his franchise qualifies for both two and three stars, noting that the closest town from his KFC is 373 miles away, and people drive hours just to buy buckets of his fried chicken.

The Michelin Guide currently does not print in Australia, though Sam Edelman is hoping his restaurant will change that.

The Michelin Guide currently does not print in Australia, though Sam Edelman is hoping his restaurant will change that. (iStock)

“We have people who come to our KFC from 500 km (310 miles) or 1,000 km (621 miles) away and they will expressly come in with the full intent to buy a bucket of KFC chicken while they are in town,” he said to Metro.

Edelman, who started as a cook for KFC back in high school 20 years ago, has owned his franchise for seven.

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“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,” he said to Metro.

“Good food is for everyone,” he added. "Good food is not just meant to be for fine dining. So I thought, ‘Bucket, why not give it a go.’”