The Year in Food

The 2014 tastes we just couldn't stop thinking about

Kevin Thomas (l) and Naya Jones of Food for Black Thought
Kevin Thomas (l) and Naya Jones of Food for Black Thought (Photo by John Anderson)

Top 10 Food nonprofits

1) GREEN CORN PROJECT Named for a Native American celebration, Green Corn digs in and helps underserved communities learn the magic of building and maintaining organic gardens – demonstrating that fostering a love between children and homegrown veggies is the future.

2) URBAN ROOTS Through paid internships, Urban Roots teaches sustainable urban farming to area youth. Their East Austin harvest is split between local food pantries and farmers' market sales through their Community Supported Agriculture Program.

3) FOOD FOR BLACK THOUGHT Co-founders Naya Jones and Kevin Thomas combine expertise in food production, marketing, and cultural studies to provide a diverse platform for discussing and examining race and local food.

4) FOOD IS FREE PROJECT After a leasing snafu this fall, FIF announced a move to Fayetteville, Ark., where they'll build an open-source farm. We'll miss their sun-kissed faces, but are sure Austin will remain a favorite among the cities that have adopted their goal of food liberation.

5) CENTRAL TEXAS BEE RESCUE Bee czar Walter Schumacher is on a mission to rescue the great endangered pollinators through donation-based hive relocation. His efforts have sealed partnerships with the W Hotel, the city of Austin, and the Omni Hotel.

6) LITTLE HERDS Taking a creepy-crawly approach to palate expansion, Robert Nathan Allen's brainchild seeks to broaden our horizons by teaching the wonders of entomophagy. Yep, eating insects – crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, etc – is sustainable and delicious.

7) LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER The Austin chapter of this national philanthropy group of successful women in food includes local culinary stars like Toni Tipton-Martin, Marla Camp, and Foo Swasdee.

8) EAST FEAST COALITION An offshoot of Urban Patchwork, this group gathered diverse community support that resulted in an ordinance approving the Festival Beach Food Forest – a fence-free edible Eden pledged to be free and open to the public.

9) FRESH CHEFS SOCIETY This 100% volunteer-operated org focuses on empowering youth in foster care through culinary life skills and cooking lessons from chefs and food-centric community members – including big names like Sonya Coté.

10) FARMSHARE AUSTIN The nonprofit branch of Johnson's Backyard Garden works its own Colorado River Basin plot, and has four objectives: education, research, land preservation, and food access.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

MORE Austin food news
The Take-Out
The Take-Out
One truck isn't the only problem with how white Austin views "Asian" food

Brandon Watson, Jan. 29, 2016

Finding community

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 18, 2015

More by Jessi Cape
Restaurants to the Rescue, Even When They Need Rescuing
Restaurants to the Rescue, Even When They Need Rescuing
We applaud Austin's badass service industry and its heroes

Feb. 24, 2021

Low-Waste Cooking Is Possible With a Few Small Daily Changes
Low-Waste Cooking Is Possible With a Few Small Daily Changes
Waste less, save more

Feb. 12, 2021


Top 10, Green Corn Project, Urban Roots, Food for Black Thought, Food is Free Project, Central Texas Bee Rescue, Little Herds, Les Dames d'Escoffier, East Feast Coalition, Fresh Chefs Society, Farmshare Austin

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle