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Since 1995, The Wine & Food Foundation has enriched the community by awarding more than $1.6 million in grants, scholarships, and hospitality industry support. Recipients include Southern Smoke, Austin Shift Meal, Urban Roots, Central Texas Food Bank, KLRU, The Sustainable Food Center, and Dell Children’s Medical Center. Scholarships have been awarded to attend institutions and programs including Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, TEXSOM (the annual Texas Sommelier Conference), Texas Culinary Academy, and Texas A&M’s Agriculture Program.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have pressed pause on our scholarship program to support the hospitality community in crisis. In 2020, we donated more than $80,000 to our hospitality industry, and funneled more than $24,000 worth of business to Austin restaurants.

The hospitality industry has been brutalized by the pandemic. According to Southern Smoke, 15 million Americans were employed by more than one million restaurants in the United States at the start of 2020. The restaurant industry is the 2nd largest employer in the country and one of the largest employers of veterans, single parents, students, immigrants and the recently unemployed. Predictions estimate than more than 75% of the restaurants in this country will not survive.

What Our Grant Recipients Say

“Thanks to the Wine and Food Foundation, I participated in the French Wine Scholar program, getting an in-depth look at the French wine industry, its major wine-producing regions, history and laws and, of course, it’s world-renowned wines. I am grateful for all the experiences I have had with the Foundation, including providing sommelier services to its annual gala and other events, allowing me to continue to grow my wine knowledge and meet so many in Austin’s wine community.”

Denise ClarkeTexas Wine Gal