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Maybe They SHOULD Put This Australian KFC in the Michelin Guide

The owner makes a compelling argument!

KFC chicken bucket Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Michelin has certain standards when it comes to what restaurants they’ll include in their revered guide. The restaurant has to use quality products, display a mastery of technique, and produce consistent, memorable meals that represent the personality of the chef. A single star denotes a good restaurant, two stars is worth a detour, and three stars means the place is worth a drive on its own (this is a driving guide, after all).

Based on those criteria, Sam Edelman of Australia is absolutely correct that his KFC franchise should be considered for inclusion.

Last week, Edelman created a Facebook group for his crusade to get a Michelin star for his KFC outpost, which is located in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. According to Google Maps, the town (which is basically at the center of the country) also sports a McDonald’s, a botanic garden, and a reptile center, and then basically nothing else for another 373 miles around. That’s one reason why the KFC could earn a star — people drive hundreds of miles to pick up buckets of chicken. “Technically we meet the criteria... so let’s just see how we go!” says the Facebook page.

Honestly, he makes a good case. For quality and skill, he argues: “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.” People come from other territories to enjoy both the chicken and the novelty of eating at what Edelman says is the most remote KFC in the world, a memorable meal if there ever was one. And you basically have to make a specific trip if you want to visit. Edelman also points to the Michelin star given to Raan Jay Fai, a street food stand in Bangkok. The stand’s owner, however, now wants to give the star back; its blessing turning into a monkey’s paw curse, so watch out, KFC.

The main thing keeping this KFC from being seriously considered is that Michelin does not currently publish a guide in Australia. Michelin still has a powerful hold over the fine dining world, but between chefs trying to give back their stars and entire cities thriving without them, we’re beginning to see the cracks. The institution could learn to loosen up a little. But if they’re going to bring a fried chicken chain into the fold, they should obviously start with Popeye’s.

Australian man is campaigning to get a Michelin star for his KFC [Metro UK]