I was lucky enough to score an invite to KFC’s “back to their roots event” in midtown where I got to witness firsthand the new “Chicken Mastery Program” that each future restaurant employee must complete before going on the job. They brought along SNL legend Rachel Dratch along with certified KFC personnel and even a volunteer from the press corps in attendance to demonstrate how the chicken is prepared. Before you get too excited, I did not learn the Colonel’s Secret Recipe. I understand that it is locked up in a vault somewhere (or at least that is how the legend goes), but I do now know that the secret is in the spices as the “dip” is really just flour and spices and the pieces of chicken are dipped in waiter before hitting the fryer in order to help keep the “batter” on.
This event was really special for a lot of reasons: 1) it’s interesting that in these fast times, KFC wants to bring a small town mom and pop feel to the running of their stores, 2) lunch guests were served freshly fried chicken with mac and cheese, cole slaw, biscuits and more and 3) the servers were dressed in Colonel suits surrounded by adorable vintage KFC memorabilia. It was an added bonus that Dratch made the rounds to come sit with all 60 or 70 journalists. She says her favorite KFC product is the original chicken recipe and joked that she is not too handy in the kitchen.
Looking to see what’s coming down the pike next for this legend of fast food done the old fashioned way. I love the way they are so innovative but yet have kept the Colonel in their recipe for success for so many years. The Colonel was not a success in starting his own business until he was 63–which is a testament to the old adage, “If first you don’t succeed, try and try again!”