Fund Culinary Innovation

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Culinary Grant Program is the nation’s first program to provide funding that supports culinary innovation and contributes to the local community.

Targeting your support to the Alliance’s Culinary Grant Program will directly impact our ability to empower our local community to bring the next big culinary innovative idea to life.

Grants are awarded to support chefs, farmers, wine-, beer-, and spirit-makers, artisan producers, food-focused nonprofits, and educational groups. The grants align with the AFWA’s mission to foster education, awareness, and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community.


Covering an entire grant of $5,000 offers the opportunity to name the grant and direct it toward a specific type of recipient that aligns with your giving interests. Whether a one-time or annual grant, your generous sponsorship will leave a lasting impression and provide value to the Central Texas culinary community for years to come.



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.



Interested in directing your support towards the AFWA Culinary Grant Program?

Whether you’re an individual, a small business, or a large company, we offer customized partnerships to drive awareness to like-minded culinary enthusiasts while supporting the Alliance’s mission.

Questions about culinary grant sponsorship? Please contact Mariam Parker, Executive Director at