Nigella, Jamie and Hugh will be facing competition from an unexpected corner next month when the late Colonel Sanders – of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame – releases his recently unearthed cookbook/autobiography.
KFC has announced that Colonel Harland Sanders: The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef – written in 1966 and discovered in its archives last November – will be launched on Facebook on 4 June. Readers will be able to download the book for free, but only via Facebook: the title will not be sold in book stores or via online booksellers, said the fast food chain.
Containing 33 "never-before-seen" recipes, from The Colonel's Special Omelette to Upside-Down Peach Cobbler, the autobiography will provide "an authentic look into the life of one of the world's legendary entrepreneurs", said KFC, with "both the insightful life lessons and the delicious recipes remain[ing] relevant today".
It was 1930, and Sanders was 40, when he began cooking for visitors to his service station in Corbin, Kentucky. By 1935 he was made a Kentucky Colonel by the state's governor for contributions to the state's cuisine, and he perfected his "secret blend of 11 herbs and spices" over the next decade. In 1955 he began developing his chicken franchising business, and in 1964 he sold his interest in the company – which then numbered some 600 KFC franchises in the US and Canada – for $2m. Sanders travelled 250,000 miles a year to visit KFC restaurants around the world until he died in 1980 at the age of 90.
A sneak preview of his autobiography is already provided on Facebook, where hungry fans are eagerly anticipating its arrival. "I've read hundreds of cookbooks. Most of those cookbooks don't even tell you how to get a steak ready, how to bake biscuits or an apple pie. The food I've liked in my time is American country cookin'," wrote the Colonel. "But in this book I'm going to try something new. I'm going to tell how I grew up and at the same time tell you how you can have the kind of food I grew up on. When I tell you how to get food ready for eating, I won't use just a cold mathematical formula to help you put it on your table. I'll be telling you how to prepare it like a man who's talking to you right over your kitchen stove. My list of American country food you won't find in fancy cookbooks."
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