Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX culinary grant will award $5,000 to Texas chef

Farm-Aid founder and Texas legend Willie Nelson’s annual Luck Reunion has teamed with the Austin Food & Wine Alliance to award a $5,000 culinary grant to a chef “whose inspiration and vision have contributed to the American roots narrative by leaving a distinctive mark on culinary culture.”

Willie Nelson performs at the Luck Reunion on March 16, 2017. Suzanne Cordeiro/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The grant will be one of six from the Austin Food & Wine Alliance that will distribute $60,000 in support of culinary innovation and community giveback projects in Central Texas. The Alliance awards specific grants each year funded by supporters, and this year’s Willie Nelson’s Luck, TX grant stems from the Luck Reunion, an arts, music, cultural and food event that takes place each year at Nelson’s Luck, Texas.

“Luck Reunion was established to celebrate creative communities influenced by the no-holds-barred, rogue creative culture pioneered by our landlord Willie Nelson; and brought to life in the Texas ‘town’ of Luck,” said Ellee Fletcher, producer of Luck Reunion and Nelson’s great-niece. “This grant will be awarded to a chef whose inspiration and vision have similarly contributed to the American roots narrative by leaving a distinctive mark on culinary culture.”

Grant applications are being accepted through October 12 at austinfoodwinealliance.org. Grant winners will be announced and awarded at a ceremony in early December.     

Previous AFWA grants include the state’s first organic apple orchard (Argus Cidery), the first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas (Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria), the state’s first locally grown and malted barley to support craft beer production (Blacklands Malt), a unique volunteer program teaching farming skills to diverse populations and culinary students (New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms), Austin’s first and only community-supported bakeshop (Miche Bread) and a Georgetown farm producing stress-free, free-range meat while helping wounded veterans (Snodgrass Farms).