Jason King and his wife Myrialis were both attorneys in Boston a few years ago. But the urge to change careers brought Myrialis to New Orleans for a Teach for America position and Jason soon followed, initially working a wide array of short-term and contract jobs. Earlier this year, they started Frencheeze Food Truck (504-264-3871; www.frencheezefoodtruck.com), serving a menu of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Today, you'll find King outside a circuit of Uptown bars and at private events slinging creations like the Gary (goat cheese, grape jelly and bacon) or the Rachel (smoked Gouda, provolone and tomatoes).
How did you decide to start a food truck?
King: Back in grad school I wrote a business plan for a food truck, but every place we've been, New York, D.C., Boston, it seemed like the food truck market was saturated. But when we came down here, the market seemed depressed, having to do with the laws and the outdated ordinances, which you can't really make sense of. There are about 10 active food trucks here, and we all interpret the rules a little differently. I wanted to do this. We're in our early 30s, and we figured we should try it. It's working, but if we're wrong then the worst case scenario is it will make a great story someday.
So why grilled cheese?
K: I'm not coming with a culinary background, so the question was, what could we do really consistently? Eating off a lot of food trucks, I know consistency is the thing that matters most. You can't ever be hit or miss. That's such a huge disappointment, it's like your kid lying to you. So we decided the best we could be for who we are is the food we eat the most. For me, that's cheese, butter and bread.
You seem pretty passionate about grilled cheese now.
K: In my legal career, I did some defense work and you get attached to some clients. I never thought I'd get attached to a grilled cheese, but it happens. If we're at the farmers market and someone says 'Oh, we've had your sandwiches,' I get that nervous feeling in my stomach waiting for what they're going to say next. It's a sandwich, but it gets personal. . — IAN MCNULTY