Krystle Loyland is CEO of Preacher, the Austin, Texas, agency responsible for Leon Bridges music videos, Vital Farms’ “Bullsh*t-Free Eggs” and Shinola’s celebration of American immigration. After 8 years as one of the leaders at Mother New York, she left with partners Seth Gaffney and Rob Baird, moved back home to Texas, and founded an agency to “spread the good word.”
In this episode of “Ad Block,” Loyland talks about her love of cooking, a talent she inherited from her own mother but didn’t discover until after college. “My mother is a great chef, so I grew up not having to lift a finger in that department,” she says. “I didn’t know the joy in it. I associated it with work. I associated it with obligation” because her mother ran a bakery.
But now, it’s a calming exercise for her, one she can excel at without much effort. “When you’re one of the bosses at an agency, no one’s really handing out gold stars anymore, she says. “So I chop vegetables and put them in butter and chop meat and people go, ‘Oh wow, that was good.’” Unlike agency work, the lead time for a good meal is short. Planning, prep and execution are done in a matter of hours, not months. “There’s hardly anything more instantly gratifying than cooking a meal. You get to come up with it and put it together and watch it transform and put it out for people, and you’re done.”
She also started smoking her own meat at home about six years ago. Though she now lives in Austin, she picked up the hobby in New York City. She has a tip for anyone not patient enough to do it for themselves: Salt Lick in the Austin airport sells a pre-smoked brisket in a freezer bag for $50-60. It’s the perfect size to fit in an overhead compartment, Loyland says.
"The whole premise of smoking meat is you’re controlling this temperature, you’re keeping a low, slow, smoked heat on the meat," she says, "so if you take the lid off and check it, you’re disturbing that.” Which is probably a good metaphor for learning to trust the process as on the job, she admits.
Loyland also weighs in on the best deadly sin, her love of true crime and Beyoncé Knowles. “Nobody doesn’t love Beyoncé,” she says. “And if you don’t, please don’t mention it to me. It’ll just change the way I think about you.”