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Quick Fast Food Review: KFC’s Signature Range

Signature Range? Not quite...

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson (the smug one from the dismal Aussie Ready Steady Cook and The Best in Australia with Ben O’Donoghue and Anna Gare) has received a lot of criticism recently for putting his name to KFC’s new “Signature Range” burgers, and has been labelled quite harshly as a “sell-out” and “laughing stock” by the media and other chefs. In a statement to the Sunday Telegraph, Darren responded by saying “I’m not sure how many of these critics have actually tried my burgers, but I think they should do that before passing judgement.” So here I go…

There are two “cheffed up” Signature Range burgers, smoked bacon & parmesan (100% free range breast fillet, parmesan cheese, cos & iceberg lettuce, smoked bacon and caesar dressing on a sourdough bun) and sweet bbq with caramelised onion (100% free range breast fillet, caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, cos & iceberg lettuce, smoked bacon, mayonnaise and sweet bbq sauce on a sourdough bun). One thing that scares me with limited edition fast food is the introduction of ingredients not normally used by the chain, and not remembering the last time I had caramelised onions at KFC I decided to try the smoked bacon & parmesan burger.

The burger comes in a custom box that feels the need to remind you that “Darren Simpson has worked in top restaurants in both the UK and Australia and is a popular TV chef”. Salivating with anticipation I opened the box…

…and was absolutely horrified by the car crash inside. This thing was such a mess I couldn’t even pick it up – in the end I had to eat it in pieces. I found the main components to be quite tasteless, from the chicken to the “parmesan” and “smoked” bacon. At least the bun tasted ok, and the lettuce tasted like lettuce – although I wonder if two varieties of lettuce in one burger is really necessary? Thankfully the caesar dressing wasn’t too strong. All in all I found this burger to be quite horrible, and I didn’t get further than a few mouthfuls.

Side note: there have been a lot of negative comments posted on my recent McFeast review, saying things like “it’s not a Michelin star restaurant” and “if you don’t like McDonald’s why go there” etc. Let me set the record straight – I enjoy fast food, and I don’t eat it just so I can write a review saying how awful it was. I always tell it like it is, and I don’t expect my burger to be assembled in such a way that I can’t pick it up and eat it. That’s just not good enough, and I’m sure McDonald’s don’t endorse such behaviour. It also helps if you have a sense of humour before you read any of my articles.

Signature Range? After this experience I certainly won’t be seeking Darren Simpson’s autograph. As Sydney chef Dan Hong tweeted, “He was never really a respected chef in the first place, so who cares?”