Kiwi chef cooks up 'high-class KFC'

Kiwi chef Morgan McGlone, who traded his life in fashion for fried chicken, has brought his tasty creations back home.

They're two industries that don't exactly go hand in hand. But McGlone says the switch was easy after meeting a photographer at a party in New York.

"He was a fashion photographer and he needed some help. He wanted me to sorta like, cook on his photoshoots, and I thought I may as well - I could meet some really nice-looking girls."

He says it snowballed from there.

"It sorta became this medium between chef/model scout/casting director/studio manager."

McGlone worked for some big modelling agencies, and with some big names like Naomi Campbell and "a lot of the younger girls like Miranda Kerr... who were young at the time."

You may even recognise him as a guest judge from New Zealand's Next Top Model. But McGlone says cooking was his calling.

He was raised in Tokoroa at his family's takeaway shop. Fast forward, and after working with traditional Tennessee fried chicken, he wanted to make his own.

"You can't eat it every daym but if you're going to have one piece of fried chicken it has to be excellent."

And that's when Belles Hot Chicken was born. McGlone calls it "high-class KFC", and says his chicken "heightens" what the Colonel's done for years.

"Take the Zinger burger for example - we have a spicy chicken sandwich that pays homage to the Zinger burger."

But forget 11 secret herbs and spices, because McGlone uses 12.

"Had to beat him by one."

McGlone is running eight of his fried chicken joints in Australia, and is serving up the tasty morsels at a pop-up restaurant in Auckland all weekend. It's hoped he could open up a permanent spot here, and maybe see Miranda Kerr nibbling on a wing?

"Noooo! Maybe she gets it on Uber Eats?"

Maybe not. But one thing's for sure - this fried chicken isn't going out of fashion.

Belles Hot Chicken will up served up at Longroom in Auckland's Ponsonby all weekend.