2014 GRANT RECIPIENTS:
Since 2012, the New Farm Institute has lived its nonprofit mission to not only provide farming education to a diverse, multicultural population of aspiring farmers and culinary students but also to create an Incubator Farm, to provide support, land and mentorship to those seeking to become professional sustainable, organic farmers. Committed to engaging people of all ages and abilities in healthy foods and sustainable farming, NFI will utilize the AFWA grant to expand and enhance its volunteer program to reach more underserved groups such as the Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) and to improve its farm-to-table program for culinary students.
With an ever-increasing demand for unusual and innovative produce, local farms seldom are able to take the commercial risk associated with growing unproven, specialized crops. Springdale Center for Urban Agriculture will utilize grant funding to build culinary test plots to grow test crops of heirloom and heritage seeds in collaboration with local chefs. Data from the test plots will be shared to increase the variety of local foods available in Central Texas, to further encourage culinary innovation by area chefs, and to increase the local capacity for farm-to-table cuisine. Read More ›
Receiving a 2013 AFWA Honorable Mention, Fresh Chefs Society, a two-year-old Austin nonprofit, empowers youth, typically ages 16–21, transitioning out of foster care to take charge of their eating lifestyle and connecting those who are interested in a career in the culinary field. Fresh Chefs Society provides targeted hands-on cooking experiences and basic knowledge needed for foster youth to learn to cook independently and healthily, while also connecting to their community by meeting chefs, visiting grocery stores, and understanding the local food movement, food accessibility, and nutrition. The AFWA grant will provide program support for the organization to continue hosting interactive cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes that educate and empower youth with lifetime skills.
The first farmers’ cooperative in the Central Texas area working on behalf of full-time sustainable farmers, the Growers Alliance of Central Texas was formed in 2010 to improve business practices, provide a forum for advice and support on issues ranging from seed selection to rallying against encroachment. The AFWA grant will be used to help gain nonprofit status, renew its annual survey of “Truly Local” restaurants, and establish a Medical Relief Fund.
From Anjore’s underground catering to supper clubs to farmer’s markets, chef/owner Deepa Shridhar has gained a tremendous following as well as Texas-sized respect for her commitment to supporting local producers in the development of her Indian pantry stables, and in her hosted dinner parties and cooking classes The AFWA grant will help Deepa fulfill her dream of expanding her farm stand to become a pop-up restaurant at area farmer’s markets, providing quality fine dining experiences. Her goal is to provide opportunity for a new generation of cooks to learn and develop, to fine-tune skills, and to build relationships with local farmers and producers while integrating Texas regional products into Indian cuisine with fine dining technique–all through a fully functional pop-up restaurant at local markets.
2014 HONORABLE MENTION:
A premium chocolate manufacturer in Austin with an award-winning artisan line of sophisticated chocolates, Delysia Chocolatier has recently opened Austin’s first culinary center devoted to chocolate. Committed to ethical and environmentally conscious sourcing, owner Nicole Patel’s vision for her small chocolate company and the new chocolate culinary center is for Austin chocolate lovers to experience, firsthand, the process of making chocolate, learning where their chocolate comes from and receiving education on its health benefits.
SEE THE 2013 GRANT RECIPIENTS ›