A Michelin-Starred Chef Partnered Up With This Popular Fast Food Chain

The UK branch of the Filipino fast food brand recently joined forces with Michelin-starred chef, Whyte Rushen, to create a tasty new menu item.

Jollibee has cemented its place as a widely loved fast-food giant, not just within the country, but also internationally. The popular franchise has established more than a thousand branches across the globe, including in countries such as the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, and Canada—and has garnered a lot of recognition even from those who didn’t grow up eating its famous fried chicken and other beloved staples. 

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One of Jollibee’s UK branches/Photo via Instagram @jollibeeuk

Among the brand’s fans is Chef Whyte Rushen, who’s best known for his sophisticated takes on street food, having formerly worked in Michelin-starred restaurants like Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, BRAT, and Scully St. James’s. The acclaimed chef shared that he became an admirer of the fast food chain after trying its Spicy Chicken Sandwich in the UK. 

A testament to Rushen’s love for the brand was how he immediately approached its management asking for a chance to create a side dish for their sumptuous chicken sandwich. This paved the way for a flavorful collaboration between the two powerhouses, resulting in The Jolly Rushen Tater Tots

Chef Whyte Rushen and his creation/Photo via Instagram @whyte_rushen

“Genuinely a monumental moment in my career to be working with an international brand of such scope and caliber, a place with such a cult following that I truly rate to the highest degree,” wrote Rushen in an Instagram post announcing the collaboration. “From sitting in there stuffing my face with the sickest chicken out, to having a full on and real relationship with these guys…what a trip man, what a mad world…” he continued. 

A Bite-Sized Treat

The Jolly Rushen Tater Tots are small but mighty in flavor. They’re drizzled in honey and caramel for sweetness, which Rushen told Insider is a homage to Filipino flavors. The crispy dish is then garnished with fried shallots and pickled spring onion salad, and served with a side of chili burger sauce. These ingredients offer contrasting flavors that produce a balanced taste profile, one meant to pair perfectly with Jollibee’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. 

A promotional photo showcasing Jollibee’s limited Jolly Rushen Tater Tots, accompanied by the franchise’s famous Spicy Chicken Sandwich/Photo via Instagram @whyte_rushen

Unfortunately, the dish was exclusive to Jollibee UK’s West End flagship store and only available for a limited time—specifically until the end of March. The fast food chain didn’t confirm whether the side dish will eventually become a permanent item on the menu, but those who want to savor it again (or missed their chance) are probably hoping for that. Regardless, the collaboration is certainly a mark of how far Jollibee has come as a fast food brand. 

Getting a Michelin-background chef’s seal of approval shows that Jollibee is indeed world-class,” stated Nico Reyes, the head of marketing of Jollibee Europe. “This is definitely a proud moment for us in Jollibee and is something we share with all our customers worldwide.”

Banner Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash.

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