Local Foods is a Chicago wholesale distributor and retailer of locally farmed food. It was founded in 2013 by partners Ryan Kimura, Andrew Lutsey and Dave Rand, and in a short period of time they've seen a surge in requests for local, grass-fed beef, which they've seen turn up in jerky dishes in top Chicago restaurants.
The jerky you'll find in these restaurants is a far cry from the stuff the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage used to hawk in television commercials in the 1990s. Barbecued beef jerky is available for a mere $5 at the restaurant Trenchermen, just a little more than what you'd pay for the mass-produced stuff at 7-11, but executive chef and co-owner Pat Sheerin doesn't mind the association.
"Well-made beef jerky is superdelicious, especially when you¹re using great beef for it," he said in an email.