While Colonel Sanders’ most famous recipe remains a secret, the man behind the chicken may soon be revealed after his “food autobiography” was discovered by a KFC employee.
The 200-page manuscript was discovered after 40 years in the company’s historical archives in Louisville, Ky. Rick Maynard, a spokesman for KFC, said the unpublished work was a “description of [Sanders'] life in his own words [and] his philosophy on work ethic and country cooking.”
The manuscript was found by Amy Sherwood, a 30-year veteran of the company, who was delighted to have made the discovery.
“The minute I saw it I was excited because I knew it was a treasure,” said Sherwood.
Roger Eaton, the CEO of KFC, says the company hopes to use the manuscript to show the public the history behind KFC and its founder.
“We’ve uncovered a new secret of the Colonel’s,” said Eaton. “Colonel Sanders was a lifelong cook and sage and his life lessons are just as powerful and relevant today as they were 40 years go.”
In an excerpt, Sanders, who started out working at a small restaurant in Corbin, Ky., writes about how his background affected his cooking.
“This is a new kind of book. There’s never been another written like it as far as I know,” writes Sanders. “I’m making room in these pages for real old-time American country and farm cooking before it’s forgotten. I was a farm boy and lean toward farm cooking. To me, my recipes are priceless.”
While Sanders built his restaurant empire around his fried chicken recipe, the unpublished work features a variety of recipes including instructions for casseroles, pies, and even a how-to guide for Light Bread, a bread made with wheat flower which was the first dish Sanders learned to make.
“The neat thing that’s described in this [book] is the way that his life and food and work is all intertwined,” said Maynard.
While KFC has not disclosed the exact recipes yet, Maynard says they are working on putting some of the lost recipes on the menu.
“There are so many recipes it is taking some significant work to go through,” said Maynard. “The guy was a master chef — it would be great to think that one or some of the items could go on the menu.”
KFC, owned by Yum! Brands, plans to release the manuscript next year.