A top Sydney chef has created an 11-course degustation with none other than KFC

A secret location, secret menu with a seasoned twist, and all profits being donated to charity. Can the iconic fast food brand be worthy of a degustation?

As the chef and owner of Sydney restaurant Nel, Nelly Robinson has earned a reputation for his innovative degustation menus and unique dining experiences. When Robinson is in the kitchen, guests can confidently expect a slew of dishes that delight and surprise. (The current degustation at Nel, for example, is inspired by classic fairytales.) And his latest culinary venture is no different.

The UK-born chef has teamed up with KFC and its test kitchen, bringing an 11-course degustation to Sydney (a nod to KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices) that showcases the brand’s authentic menu items and ingredients. In short: this will be a dining experience like no other.

“As a lifelong fan of KFC, creating an 11-course degustation with their most-loved menu items and elevating them to new heights has been a dream come true. For the menu, I’ve taken 11 KFC dishes and reimagined how the flavours and textures come to life using my expertise in degustation menus to truly blow fans away,” says Robinson.

Classic popcorn chicken with celeriac soup, mushroom gnocchi and basil, topped with an edible floral garnish.

The world-first tasting menu is unexpectedly refined. And it certainly delivers on its promise to elevate the globally recognised fast food items to new gastronomic heights. Take the humble twister wrap: once a simplistic snack, Robinson has paired the classic chicken tenders with pearl barley risotto, sundried tomato, and pumpkin. Each dish includes a familiar KFC ingredient, from the charred wings cooked over a bed of charcoal to the popcorn chicken served with mushroom gnocchi. Better yet, there’s a wine list to match.

In true Robinson fashion, guests will be encouraged to have fun with their food. So forget the white tablecloth dining etiquette and don’t even think about flickering taper candles. This might be a luxury experience, but it’s still stamped with KFC’s larrikin imprint. Potato and gravy tubs are reconstructed as a melting gravy candle with potato buns. Original recipe drumsticks get a dusting of edible gold and quinoa. And for dessert, chocolate mousse is dipped in nitrogen for dramatic effect.

“From Wicked Wings cooked on charcoal fires to edible stencil art of the Colonel’s face, we have crafted a high-end dining adventure, just like guests would find at my degustation restaurant,” says Robinson. “So, we can’t wait to see their reactions to each of the devilishly good dishes.” The question remains: Is KFC worthy of a degustation? With an elevated take on humble classics, we happen to think so.

The KFC degustation experience is set to launch on April 1st, with sittings held across three nights at a secret venue in Sydney’s Alexandria. 100% of the profits will be donated to KFC’s charity partners.


Atmosphere: The atmosphere was fun and relaxed in a beautiful setting. We were encouraged to forget about the traditional fine dining experience and be entertained by a creatively crafted menu and presentation.

Presentation: The dishes were beautifully presented with a twist on traditional degustation. For example, the Supercharged Wings were presented on a bed of firey charcoal, and the La Di Da Drumstick with a touch of gold was revealed through smoke.

Wine list: Each course was complemented by a beautiful wine; starting with fruity bubbles and followed by a crisp white sauvignon blanc, and a velvety Tasmanian Pinot Noir. This was finished off with a deliciously sweet dessert wine that went perfectly with the Chocolate Mousse.

Highlight: Learning about the stories and ideas behind every course added character to the experience.

Brought to you by KFC.

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