Ever wondered who that old bearded man with glasses you always see in KFC stores is? Is he the brand’s mascot or is he the first ever KFC endorser? He is Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of KFC and the first ever celebrity chef—and most importantly, a real man who lived a real life and followed his real passion of providing so good food.
With a multimillion-dollar food business under his belt, Colonel Harland Sanders did not live a charmed life like what others might have expected. Born in a little farm in Indiana, his father died when he was just six years old, forcing his mother to work for the neighbors every day. Sanders had the responsibility of taking care of his two younger siblings which allowed him to learn how to cook and to develop his incredible passion for real and so good food.
Forced to be an adult at a young age, Sanders dropped out of school and took several other jobs after his stint in the farm. He became a steamboat pilot, insurance salesman and a railroad fireman among other things. However, nothing made him happier than becoming a businessman and chef. He started his first restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky where he served complete and delicious meals to busy families and called it, “Sunday Dinner, Seven Days A Week.”
As his restaurant became more popular, the Colonel did not only grow his store’s capacity but also worked harder to give his customers the best-tasting fried chicken. After learning about the invention of the pressure cooker, he bought several units and determined the right amount of temperature and the exact mix of the perfect seasoning by trial and error to improve his recipe. Soon enough, he came up with the perfect mix of herbs and spices which made him and his Original Recipe chicken world-famous.
“In those days, I hand-mixed the spices like mixing cement on a specially cleaned concrete floor on my back porch in Corbin. I used a scoop to make a tunnel in the flour and then carefully mixed in the herbs and spices,” the Colonel shared.
Today, the production of KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices is being handled by several different companies. Despite this, the Colonel’s same perfect blend of spices, which he developed in 1940, is still being used in all KFC stores. To protect this world-famous secret recipe, the company takes very special precautions such as hiding it in a tightly-secured cabinet equipped with two combination locks inside the KFC headquarters in Louisiana, Kentucky.
A clear favorite of customers around the world, the KFC Original Recipe Chicken and Gravy is made from the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices that Colonel Sanders perfected more than a half-century ago. It’s the same recipe followed in all KFC stores and remains to be one of the top secret recipes in the food business that only a few KFC employees know about.
In the Philippines, customers continue to go to KFC for its wide variety of delectable food. Serving unique and exciting dishes from the Original Recipe Chicken, pasta bowls, sides and deserts, KFC is always committed to providing Filipinos delicious dishes and creating moments that are, simply, so good—enough to make Colonel Sanders proud.
“Other than our food’s so good taste, what makes us different is our heritage. Like any other success story, KFC was founded from humble beginnings. We take pride in the man who started our brand, his story and most especially, the real and original food he created,” says Natalie Perez, marketing director of KFC Philippines.
A man of wisdom, patience, hard work and passion, Colonel Sanders is much more than just the man in a white jacket we see in KFC stores. He has lived a full life, left a legacy known worldwide and still continues to make his present felt in KFC stores through his so good food.