Austin chef tracing African foodways wins Food & Wine Alliance grant

A chef can now realize his vision of following the food routes of the African diaspora more quickly, and mothers and their children affected by homelessness have better access to tools that will help them live healthier lives. These are just two of the projects addressing diversity and social justice that have recently been funded by one of the largest culinary nonprofits in the region.

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance recently announced recipients of more than $ 30,000 in grants for local professionals working in a variety of ways to fuel culinary innovation.

Allianz distributed the money through seven grants between $ 2,500 and $ 5,000. To Taste Culinary Nutrition, an organization that provides nutritional education and culinary training for mothers and their children affected by homelessness, are among the fellows. Free lunch serving hundreds of home-cooked meals to people with homelessness every week (read our profile here); and Wine For the People, a women-owned company that created a training program for women in winemaking;

The fellows include Chef Damien Brockway, the former head chef at Counter 357, who will soon be bringing to East Austin his food truck Distant Relatives, which focuses on serving dishes that represent the culinary traditions of the African diaspora. Look for our interview with him in that area soon.

Other manufacturers that received funds were Tamale Addiction, which intends to use the funds to launch a range of innovative tamalada self-cooking kits. the Indian-inspired chocolate company Madhu Chocolates; and Li’l Nonna’s, a vegan pizzeria looking to open a restaurant.

This is the ninth year of the Alliance’s grant program, which has distributed more than $ 350,000 to chefs, farmers, artisans, nonprofits, and educational groups. Grant funds were raised even though AFWA, like most organizations, was unable to run its largest annual fundraiser.

“We knew more than ever that we needed to find a way to continue to support the innovation that is building our strong local food community. This year’s scholarship holders and their projects really show how determined and talented we are in Austin, ”said scholarship chairwoman and AFWA board chairman Cathy Cochran-Lewis.

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