A nonprofit dedicated to supporting Dallas culinary innovation is handing out grant money. According to a release, the Dallas Food & Wine Alliance will award $15,500 to eligible candidates, which could include farmers, chefs, artisans, wine/beer/spirits makers, culinary nonprofits, businesses, and food & beverage professionals whose projects show innovation and impact to the community.
The Dallas chapter was created in 2020 — part of an expansion of the original Austin Food & Wine Alliance, known for events like Wine & Swine. The organization advanced to a state-wide entity called the Texas Food & Wine Alliance with chapters in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
In addition to the Dallas grant money, they'll award an additional $60,000 in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.
The release says that the grant program is the first in the U.S. to provide funding to support culinary innovation that also gives back to the local community.
Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Grant Chair and Alliance President, says in a statement that they're thrilled to continue the grant program despite setbacks inflicted by the pandemic.
"It's only through amazing partnerships and the generous and supportive culture in Dallas and North Texas that we've been able to raise the funds to award grants this year," Cochran-Lewis says. "These funds will continue to go back into the community through unique and innovative projects."
Since 2012, Alliance grants have funded projects such as:
- Texas' first organic apple orchard, Argus Cidery
- Texas' first locally grown and malted barley to support craft beer production, Blacklands Malt
- A volunteer program teaching farming skills to diverse populations and culinary students, New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms
- Austin's first community-supported bakeshop, Miche Bread
The TFWA board of directors determines the amount of grant funding based on fundraising efforts. There's a judging committee in each city, composed of a private panel of prominent culinary professionals and community members, who will decide who gets the grants.
This year’s Dallas total consists of three grants:
- Dallas Bourbon Club Grant of $8,500, awarded to a business or nonprofit within the food, wine, or spirits industry
- Tito's Handmade Vodka Entrepreneur Grant of $5,000, awarded to an entrepreneur who has pursued his/her business dream despite setbacks, not unlike the saga of founder Tito Beveridge
- The Truffle Masters Grant for Community Heroes of $2,000, awarded to a chef who has overcome diversity and challenges to bring support to others
Special consideration will be given to initiatives supporting diversity and inclusion within the Dallas community.
H-E-B is the top supporter followed by ABC Bank, American Lamb Board, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Austin Monthly, Buffalo Trace, Con 'Olio Oils & Vinegars, Fairmont Austin, Fever Tree, Giant Noise, Lifeworks, Pabst Brewing, Patrón Tequila, Premiere Events, Republic National Distributing Company, Siete Family Foods, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, Sysco, Texas Beef Council, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Twang, Unifresh, and William Grant & Sons.
Applications will be accepted beginning Friday October 1-Sunday October 24 via online submission at dallasfoodandwinealliance.org. Applicants will be notified by Tuesday, November 23, and winners will be announced at a ceremony at Fairmont Austin on December 13.
To walk applicants through the grant process, they'll host a statewide information session via Zoom on Tuesday October 12 at 1 pm. For registration and information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.