By rizeabove / / What happens when two designer/artist/foodies combine their interests into a new business venture? Designer jerky, of course. Cool Jerk is the meaty brainchild of Mike Davis and his ladyfriend web-designer, Mali Kouanchao. We knew of Mike through his affiliation with Burlesque, but we wanted to delve deeper into the dehydrated, so we asked him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say: Ego: So, you’re a designer. Is Mali the jerky connoisseur? Jerk: We’re both designer / artist / food enthusiasts. My background is in graphic design and typography and Mali’s is in web design. I did the branding and packaging and Mali built the website. Ego: How’d you guys decide to get into the dehydrated meat market? Jerk: Mali’s Aunt has been making jerky for about 20 years. We always had some on hand, and when our friends would try it they’d ask where they could buy it. So, we thought we’d take a stab at branding and marketing the jerky ourselves. After much deliberation, Mali came up with the great name and I got to work on the logo. Ego: If Sasquatch tried your jerky, which flavor would he like best? Jerk: Probably Hot & Spicy. Actually, we have an even spicier flavor coming out very soon that will knock you on your backside. Sasquatch would go for that one. Ego: Original and Spicy, we get. But, Lemongrass? Jerk: Our jerky uses ingredients and preparation techniques from Mali’s home country of Laos. While most truck stop brands don’t get much more creative than teriyaki and pepper, we wanted to try something different. Lemongrass is a key ingredient used in many Southeast Asian dishes. And, yes, we’re happy to report, the jerky glistens in real life just like it does in the photo. After all, according to Mike, the Lao name for the jerky is “sien savahn” which means “heavenly meat.” Maybe the shine is a sign from above? You be the judge.
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