It’s easy to forget that the white-haired gentleman behind the iconic symbol for fried chicken was a real restaurateur and cook.
But Col. Harland Sanders, the man behind KFC and its original recipe, has a cookbook and autobiography coming out, more than 70 years after he perfected that special blend of herbs and spices.
KFC will release the autobiography, along with 33 recipes (sadly, the blend is not among them), as a free download on its Facebook page starting Monday, June 4. Currently, those who “like” the page can access a foreward written by Pete Harman, the first KFC franchise owner, as well as the first chapter.
A recipe for potato pancakes is also available, along with an instructional video by Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia and “Top Chef: Texas” fame.
The release follows the accidental discovery of the manuscript in November 2011, more than 40 years after it was written.
"What's most amazing about the book is that while it was written nearly a half-century ago, both the insightful life lessons and the delicious recipes remain relevant today," said Jason Marker, KFC’s chief marketing officer, in a press release
The first chapter could be as much a study of American life at the turn of the 20th century as it is a tale of an entrepreneur.
“The best way to begin is by telling how I made my first loaf of light bread,”Sanders states at the beginning of the manuscript, mentioning his father’s death and how he was left to “do the cookin’.”
“When I was seven, I got so I could make light bread. I made the yeast, set the sponge, made the dough, baked off the bread. When I was done I had the prettiest loaf of light bread you ever saw.”
Sanders eventually parlayed that skill into a restaurant in Corbin, Ky., and the world’s largest chicken restaurant chain before he died in 1980 at age 90.