Ep. 57 – Meet Jamal Etienne-Harrigan of Uncle Jammy’s sauces and seasonings

His products pair with everything from meat to fish to jackfruit. Oh, and potato chips too

by Stephanie Brea
December 15, 2020


iTunes | Spotify | Direct Download Episode 57

It’s the final week of Maker Month, and in this episode, we meet Jamal Etienne-Harrigan of Uncle Jammy’s sauces and seasonings. Learn more about his early cooking experiences and what inspires him. Of his creative process, Etienne-Harrigan explains, “I’ll come up with a name and then I will backtrack towards making the recipe fit the name. And for a lot of people, that’s not the way it goes.” This was how his Area 51, his oldest proprietary sauce, was developed. And while there has been recipe “tinkering,” as he would say, the bright green sauce, which features avocados, jalapeno, tequila as the base, sprang from an interest in aliens and Roswell, N.M.

 

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Not just for barbecued meats, he shares some alternate applications for Uncle Jammy’s seasonings. He even has a non-dairy ranch rub.

Etienne-Harrigan tells the story of how a (non-romantic) meet-cute with his neighbor Dennis Guy of First Sip Brew Box led to some beer-related Uncle Jammy’s product expansion and his two Fresh Fest Beer Fest collaborations with Recon Brewing.

 

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When asked how COVID-19 affected his business, his narrative of the fear and uncertainty that surrounded the first shutdown weekend in March is sure to resonate, but his attitude is inspiring. He asked himself the question: “Am I going to come out of this pandemic better off than I was or worse?” During this time, his business has expanded to additional Giant Eagle Market District and Whole Foods stores.

You can order Uncle Jammy’s online and find it in stores throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Want more local makers?

Week one of Maker Month on The Slaw featured graphic designer Paul Haggerty. In week two, we met local woodworker Darren Myers. Week three’s guest was artist Oreen Cohen.

Hungry for more barbecue content?

In June, we interviewed Doug Derda of Yinz Love BBQ.

The audio episode was hosted by Aadam Soorma, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios.

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Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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