Introducing the ‘Jolly Rushen Tater Tots’: the Complementary Side to Jollibee’s Iconic Spicy Chicken Sandwich, courtesy of Michelin background Chef Whyte Rushen
Jollibee ventures into the world of Whyte Rushen, the pop up connoisseur with a Michelin starred background, previously of Brat, Skully St James and Kerridge’s, in this unique collaboration where delicious fried chicken meets culinary genius.
When Whyte Rushen heard rumours of the queues around the block for Jollibee’s store openings in London, he was intrigued to see what the hype was about. A few months ago, he took the opportunity to get his fill of fried chicken and the restaurant instantly secured a spot at the top of his list. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich, an acclaimed centre-piece on Jollibee’s menu, particularly stood out from the crowd for being ‘ultra crispy, juicy, so perfectly spicy (like actually spicy)’.
Reminiscing on his meal at Jollibee left Whyte with the desire to create a side-dish to the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, paving the way for a naturally forming collaboration between the two. Enter the ‘Jolly Rushen Tater Tots’.
Picture credit: Jollibee
In his first rodeo with a fried chicken brand, Whyte’s vision was to celebrate the Spicy Chicken Sandwich for actually being spicy, by combining complementary ingredients to balance the fiery flavour. Drawing on influences from his professional experience and playing on nostalgic inspirations, the Jolly Rushen Tater Tots are a product of Rushen’s genuine appreciation of Jollibee’s food.
In a fusion of fried chicken favourites and restaurant delicacy, the lovingly made side dish has been revealed; hot honey and caramel drizzled tater tots, with an accompaniment of smoked chilli burger sauce with crispy fried onions and a spring onion salad. The new side has been teased on Jollibee and Whyte’s social media channels, and fans of both sides have been eagerly awaiting details of the collaboration.
To celebrate this new pairing and launch the Jolly Rushen Tater Tots, Jollibee and Whyte will be hosting a launch pop up event on Saturday 11th March, from 6pm till 10pm, in the Jollibee flagship store in Leicester Square. With special guest DJ Skream, friends of Whyte and Jollibee and an endless amount of Spicy Chicken Sandwiches and Jolly Rushen Tater Tots being served up, this will be one for the books.
Tickets for the event sold out in under an hour and were available here to purchase at £20 per person. Each ticket included entry, the exclusive meal deal and a roasted peach, ginger and lemongrass Rum Punch on entry.
The Jolly Rushen Tater Tots will be available to purchase for a limited time in Jollibee’s Leicester Square store from 12th March, as part of a £10.49 meal deal with the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Sprite.
Rodel Alcantara, Business Head of Jollibee Europe, said: “We are extremely excited for this collaboration. It’s been in the works ever since Whyte came down to try our food and let us know how much he loved the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It’s great to work with someone as talented and creative in the kitchen as Whyte, who genuinely loves Jollibee. We can’t wait for Jollibee fans to try the Jolly Rushen!”
Whyte Rushen has also said: “I like the cult status of it all, the buzz, the vibe, the brightness, how unapologetically "fast food" it is, yet, of such a high, high standard. The chicken is ultra crispy, juicy, and so perfectly spicy.”
Jollibee is a much-loved restaurant chain founded in 1978 by Tony Tan Caktiong and his family. It is the market leader in its home country’s restaurant industry, with over 1500 locations across 17 countries as of June 2022. The brand has many accolades to its name, including the “best international restaurant chain” by US-based food and lifestyle website, Thrillist and “the best fried chicken chain in America” by food news and dining guide Eater. Famously, the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain referred to Jollibee as the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth” in his hit CNN food and travel documentary show, Parts Unknown.
Parent company, Jollibee Group, now has over 6,300 stores globally across 17 brands and operates in 34 countries. It owns 80% of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® business, which is present in 27 countries, and operates Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan in Mainland People’s Republic of China. It also owns and operates Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, and Mang Inasal in the Philippines; Yonghe King and Hong Zhuang Yuan in the Mainland People’s Republic of China; Smashburger in the US, and Highlands Coffee, mostly in Vietnam. The Jollibee Group also owns the franchise of Burger King, PHO24, Panda Express, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines. Jollibee Group also acquired 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand. The company is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
About Whyte Rushen
The London born chef, Whyte Rushen, previously of Brat, Skully St James and Kerridge’s, became the king of the 2021 food pop up scene, carving out a culinary path via Instagram, spearheading an underground pop up movement. Drawing on influence from his Michelin starred background and playing on nostalgic inspirations from his childhood memories, there is a comforting homely factor to his cooking, which oozes creativity and flair.
Whyte’s avant-garde food is a style all of its own, often focusing on moments in time as well the ingredients and techniques, blurring the lines between the industries of food, music, fashion and art. Taking over iconic spots from Soho’s Quo Vadis, to slinging his infamous smash burgers out of his Stoke Newington flat, there aren’t many London chefs that encapsulated the capital’s diversity quite like Whyte Rushen.
His pop ups have now elevated to sell-out cult status, where you’re just as likely to catch a set from the legendary DJ Skream as you are to feast on oysters and monster munch…blink and you’ll miss them.
Previous collaborations: Madame Pigg, Jackson Boxer, The Farrier, White Men Can’t Jerk, The Standard, Rogues, Mortimer House, TT Liqueur, Burger & Lobster, What Willy Cooks, Kebab Queen, Rocks Oysters, Quo Vadis, Palms Pizza and more.
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