The 2018 Culinary Grant Program cycle is now closed. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the 2019 grant cycle.

Grant applications will be available beginning September 13, 2018 through October 15, 2018. All applications must be digitally received by October 15, 2018 (by midnight). Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Grant applications will be reviewed and considered by the AFWA 2018 Grant Selection Committee, a panel composed of community members and culinary professionals. Recipients and non-recipients will be notified no later than Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Grants will be awarded at a ceremony in early December.

All information submitted during the grant application process will remain confidential. Grant selection committee members have signed non-disclosure agreements.

Grant Eligibility — Grant recipients must meet the following criteria:
    • Food and beverage artisans, producers, chefs/culinary professionals farmers, wine-, beer- and spirit-makers, and food-focused non-profits serving the Austin and or Central Texas Community
    • Must be located in Central Texas (within the following counties): Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson
    • Must demonstrate how the grant will be used for culinary innovation
    • Must demonstrate community giveback and/or show the impact the initiative will have on the community
    • Represent fiduciary responsibility and transparency
    • Must follow the reporting and accountability guidelines
    • Agree to participate in PR and social media initiatives to promote AFWA & Grant Program
    • Agree to AFWA website presence and mutual promotion of AFWA & Grant Program
    • Must submit three (3) current reference letters with dates detailing relationship to the organization/individual and explaining why the applicant should receive a grant




The Gina Burchenal Grant, honoring AFWA Past President Gina Burchenal, is a $5,000 grant awarded to a woman-owned business.

The 2017 recipient is Joi Chevalier’s The Cook’s Nook, a culinary incubator and shared commercial kitchen in East Austin. In addition to a 2,000-square foot commercial kitchen, the facility features a coworking and event space.

The Whole Foods Market Grant, provided by Whole Foods Market’s Southwest Region, is a $5,000 grant awarded to a small artisan business focusing on fresh/organic product.

The 2017 recipient is Skull & Cakebones Bakery, which plans to use the money to extend its line of breads using locally milled flour.

The Premiere Events Community Grant, in its second year, provides a $2,500 grant to a nonprofit organization or educationally focused project.

The 2017 recipient is Farmshare Austin, a non-profit using 10 acres in eastern Travis County to educate new farmers through an 18-week training program. The organization plans to use the grant to build a more comprehensive training curriculum.

The Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX Grant stemming from Luck Reunion, held on Nelson’s Luck, Texas ranch each spring. Luck Reunion celebrates the evolution in music, art and food, and in that tradition, the grant will be awarded to a chef who follows his/her dreams without compromise and who has made an impact on culinary culture.

The Jeff Conarko Grant for Innovation, a grant honoring beloved Austin business owner and healthy eating advocate, Jeff Conarko of Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars. The grant will be awarded to an individual or organization with a commitment to sustainable and traceable practices, innovation, community giveback and a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles.

The Honey Fest Sustainable Agriculture Grant is a new grant provided by previous grant winners Texas Keeper Cider and Two Hives Honey from their annual Honey Fest, Texas and first festival celebrating Texas beekeepers and honey. This grant will be awarded to a business promoting the use of sustainable agriculture practices.

If you do not meet the requirements of the above-named grants, you are still eligible and encouraged to apply!



Grantees are required to submit two performance reports updating the AFWA Board of Directors on the progress achieved since receiving the grant. These reports must be submitted 6 months into receiving the grant and at the one-year mark of receiving the grant and may include presentation to the AFWA Board of Directors. The final performance report will serve as a permanent record of the grantee’s accomplishments. These reports will provide information to the grant committee and staff as they evaluate the significance and impact of the AFWA grants. You will be notified in advance with deadlines on when your grant reports will be due.

If you have any questions about the culinary grant program or application process, please contact