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Photo by Hannah J. Frias

Halloween costumes are hard to pick, not to mention sensitive to the tone of the event. Are you a pun, or a sexy fill-in-the-blank? Pet costumes, on the other hand, are limitless. A bumblebee. The little mermaid. A cloud. Grandmother Wolf. An unsuccessful TV pilot, if your pet really resists being picked up. You can use any of those and more at the 8th Annual Thomas J. Henry Bark in the Park costume contest and pet expo on October 29 at Sunken Garden Theater.

The contest benefits San Antonio Pets Alive and the Animal Defense League of Texas through registration fees (discounted to $7 to preregister until further notice). Winners take home prizes up to $1,000, and spectators can join for free.

While the pets strut their stuff and handlers check out the vendors, kids are invited to hang out in the kids’ zone. Furthering the purpose of the event's benefactors, there will be an on-site adoption drive. Perhaps next year’s winner is among the hopeful adoptees. Food trucks and music round out this day at the park.

San Antonio Pets Alive is a no-kill animal shelter with some long-term residents — currently featured in “long stay” cats and dogs categories — as well as newcomers who get snatched up the moment the public finds out about them. The shelter offers adoptions and relies heavily on foster families. San Antonio Pets Alive has saved more than 63,000 animal lives since 2011.

The Animal Defense League of Texas is a similar organization operating locally in San Antonio, which claims to be the area’s “largest and oldest true no-kill shelter.” It maintains a full-time veterinary staff, spays and neuters pets for low-income families, and runs educational programs in schools and in the community. The shelter’s maximum capacity is 400 animals, but it pledges never to euthanize an animal when space runs out.

For more information about the Thomas J. Henry Bark in the Park contest, visit thomasjhenrylaw.com or view the event on Facebook.

Courtesy of AnArte Gallery

8 opportunities to be artful in San Antonio this month

STATE OF THE ARTS

There is a dizzying array of opportunities to embrace San Antonio museums and galleries this month and something for every artistic palate. The Briscoe will showcase photography in the form of renowned American nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, as well as from the late Reg Campbell who documented his own poignant and personal journey with leukemia on display at the Photo Center. From Sacred Altars at San Antonio Art League to Sacred Portals at Artpace, fall head over heels for the abundance of artistry on display in Alamo City this September.

San Antonio Art League
“Sacred Art of Altars: One People, Many Paths” — Now through September 15
This exhibit of over 60 crafted altars features a dazzling display of contrasts as well a beautiful underlying unity. Each piece has an identical shape and size (12” x 16”), while each shrine exhibits its own uniqueness in an eye-popping array of colors and media, including paint, wax, glass, metal, fabric, ceramics, and more. The subject matter ranges from sublime to temporal, and from spiritual to satirical, reflecting the growing embrace of “nichos” or small, personalized shrines, in the popular culture of the Southwest. A long, integral part of San Antonio’s spiritual heritage, altars are becoming increasingly evident in secular as well.

Photo Center
“Reg Campbell: Septua” — Now through December 3
This exhibition chronicles photographer Reg Campbell’s journey with cancer through his photography. Campbell was in his late 30s when he learned he had leukemia. With his cameras in tow, he began photographing his hospital stays, chemo treatments, and precious time at home with his wife and young daughter. He called the series Septua, from the Latin word for seven, referring to his initial 7 weeks of chemotherapy and 7 months of intermittent hospital stays. After receiving a bone marrow transplant, he went into remission, but the cancer came back. He died on May 15, 2020. Throughout the last years of his life, he shot and shared striking and honest photos because he wanted to show what leukemia was really like. “Cancer is an anyone disease, anyone from any walk of life can get it. No one is immune. I feel it is my job to show others that having leukemia isn’t what the TV shows and movies say it is,” he wrote.

MBAW Art Gallery
“Jubilee: An Anniversary Exhibition” — Now through December 17
Jubilee features more than 30 of the many international visual artists who have exhibited their work in the Art Gallery at Musical Bridges Around the World. Founding director Anya Grokhovski – an avid art collector and advocate – recruited visual artists as board members, supporters, and donors. She invited selected artists to exhibit in the lobby of performance venues, at fundraisers and other events, embracing the visual arts as part of the cross-cultural mission from the outset. “Jubilee” celebrates these artists and their contributions over the years, offering a survey of the work that has graced Musical Bridges’ walls and the direction these artists have taken since.

AnArte Gallery
“Brook Rosser: Nostalgia” — September 8 through October 2
Brook Rosser’s mixed media paintings seek to reflect love, challenges, and dreams, blending both private and mythic images. Her love of folk art and color is evident in her work, which constantly searches out new ways to explore the wonder and enchantment of living. “The last couple of years have been filled with revisiting family photos, mementos, and stories while sifting through the many objects I’ve collected over the years. This new series called '“Nostalgia” is a compilation of images I created using collage, paint, and digital media.” Portraits of objects fill her canvases: her grandmother’s shoes — cowboy boots and fancy heels from Neiman Marcus — or her grandfather’s vest, given to him by the Shoshone Indians. These objects, along with other relics, weave a visual story rich in color, texture, and lore.

Artpace
“Luis Valderas: The Sacred Portal of Amaxctli (place where the waters split)” — September 8 through January 1, 2023
In his exhibition, Luis Valderas creates an installation inspired by ancient portals opened by Mesoamerican shamans, including figureheads made of Styrofoam, a shipping material that protects wares from being damaged while traveling thousands of miles across many borders and discarded upon arrival. This packaging is engineered to keep the objects safe, but has also created aesthetic forms, which Valderas has integrated into his visual language. By repurposing the Styrofoam and encapsulating it in brown shipping paper, the artist has transformed these shipping materials into a new deity of cardinal status that has traversed multiple borders in this reality.

Ruby City
“Tangible/Nothing” — September 8 through July 30, 2023
Tangible/Nothing explores how the invisible or the seemingly mundane can reveal great meaning. Some works represent apparent voids, vestiges of what’s missing or subjects not pictured, such as a pair of arms bereft of a body, a woman represented only by her purse, or Miss America seen only as a floating crown. Other works represent or incorporate everyday objects that stand in for big ideas, such as empty paint cans representing a white, heroic vision of America’s history or a bright pink stove calling out the pervasiveness of traditional gender roles. The exhibition will feature approximately 50 works by national and international artists as well as San Antonio artists Nate Cassie, Katie Pell, Chuck Ramirez and Juan Miguel Ramos.

The Carver Cultural Community Center
“Zane Thomas: The Color of Blind” — September 9 through October 21
Black Moon Print owner and creator Zane Thomas’s screen prints and graphic design combine his unapologetic obsession with vintage 40’s and 50’s advertisements, film, and pop culture to create a Neo-Americana and mid-century mashup style lovingly dubbed “Alternative Americana.” His creations invoke in him the same ghoulish grin he felt when he tried to sneak a naughty novelty toy from a truck stop as a kid, and he hopes to make things for those that revel in the same cherished aesthetic – and, at the end of the day, get the joke.

Briscoe Western Art Museum
“Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild” — September 29 through January 29, 2023
Renowned American nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world for nearly 50 years. Observing and photographing the Earth’s last great wild places, he captures everything from polar bears in the Arctic to vast herds of game on the plains of Africa, from the deep jungles of South America to the tigers of India, to images revealing the diversity of wildlife in the American West. This exhibition at the Briscoe contains 40 of Mangelsen’s most resonant image. Each one was taken in the wild under natural conditions; the result of waiting for the “picture-perfect moment” across decades and often in hostile conditions. Polar Dance, for example, is a whimsical portrait of polar bears appearing to prance in the Arctic, which National Geographic called one of the most important photographs of our time for inspiring viewers to ponder the consequences of climate change.

Brook Hesser, Hot Texas Javelina at AnArte Gallery

Courtesy of AnArte Gallery
Brook Hesser, Hot Texas Javelina at AnArte Gallery

Drought uncovers ancient dinosaur tracks at famous Texas park

Dinosaur News

Ancient dinosaur tracks were uncovered in a famous Texas park: The tracks, dating back approximately 113 million years, were discovered in a dried-out riverbed at Dinosaur Valley State Park, 54 miles southwest of Fort Worth, on August 18.

The tracks were revealed due to the drought. Under normal weather conditions, they would have remained hidden underwater, as they have for these many decades. But thanks to climate change, patches of the Paluxy River, which runs through the park, dried out completely. According to park officials, it brought the tracks to light.

Sadly for dino fans, it's fleeting: With the rains crossing Texas this week, the tracks are anticipated to soon (maybe already) be buried again.

"While these newer dinosaur tracks were visible for a brief amount of time, it brought about the wonder and excitement about finding new dinosaur tracks at the park," said a park spokesperson in a statement. "Dinosaur Valley State Park will continue to protect these 113-million year-old tracks not only for present, but future generations."

The tracks are believed to belong to the Acrocanthosaurus, a dinosaur that would stand about 15 feet tall and weigh nearly seven tons. The other species found at the park is the Sauroposeidon, a much larger dinosaur at 60 feet tall and weighing about 44 tons.

Park rangers at Dinosaur Valley State Park caution that the visibility of any dinosaur tracks depends on how much rain the area receives. If you go there, you may not see these tracks. You probably won't see these tracks.

The tracks have made international news, after a group called the Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park posted photos showing a clean-up of the space. The discovery has been covered by CNN, the BBC, and major networks. Everyone loves dinosaurs.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Zoo

Walk on the wild side with 750+ species at San Antonio Zoo

On the Road

Get in touch with your wilder side at San Antonio Zoo, which is home to more than 750 species — some of which are endangered or extinct in the wild.

When you visit, don’t miss these top 10 things to do.

1. Ride the Zoo Train
The zoo's two miles of track run through Brackenridge Park, where you can also hop on and hop off near the Japanese Tea Garden, Sunken Gardens, and the Witte Museum, which explores South Texas history, culture, and natural science.

In 2021, the zoo unveiled a new train experience called the C.W.T. Express, which reintroduces a historic, diesel-style engine to the fleet.

2. Visit the Reptile House
Even if snakes are not your thing, the Reptile House is still a fascinating stop thanks to its wide array of species from all over the world, including turtles and lizards.

3. Watch jaguars walk overhead
The Pantera Walk presented by Texas A&M San Antonio is a literal catwalk in the sky for jaguars. Gaze up and watch the giant cats wander between habitats at this special feature.

4. Visit Timothy the hippo inside Africa Live!
You can get up close and personal with one of nature’s largest mammals — and even feed the famous Timothy — during the zoo’s unique, behind-the-scenes interaction.

5. See the rhino trio in the Savanna
Another one of nature’s largest mammals is the rhino, and there’s a trio of them in the Savanna area. You can sign up to go behind-the-scenes here, too.

6. Feed flamingos at Flamingo Mingle
Meet and greet a flock of Caribbean flamingos during this immersive experience, where you’ll learn that they are filter feeders, which is more like whales and oysters than most birds!

7. Take a spin on the carousel
With 60 stunning, hand-painted animals, the custom-designed carousel is fun — and a work of art. Texas favorites like the endangered whooping crane, the white-tailed deer, the Texas horned lizard, and the jackalope are joined by a menagerie of real and imaginary animals, including the white ostrich, a sea dragon, the hummingbird, a tiger shark, and a polar bear.

8. Feed the world’s tallest animal
One of the most beloved zoo experiences is the giraffe feeding, where you can gaze eye-to-eye with the world’s tallest land mammal. Grab some lettuce and get set to be impressed by these majestic creatures.

9. Get face time with baby kangaroos
Cue all the "awwwws." At the Kangaroo Krossing, you’ll see red ’roos of all ages in this extension of the zoo’s Wild Australia realm. There’s more to love in the Snack-A-Roos snack stand and upgraded experiences, where you can get up close with the cute creatures.

10. Stop by the country’s oldest children’s amusement park
Established in 1925 and renovated in 2009, Kiddie Park is the oldest children’s amusement park in the country. And while modern updates have been made, the nostalgic style has been preserved with the park’s old-fashioned Ferris Wheel, famous hand-carved Herschell Spillman carousel, flying saucers, and more.

Find more to do at the San Antonio Zoo here.

At San Antonio Zoo, you can feed the giraffes.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Zoo
At San Antonio Zoo, you can feed the giraffes.
Photo courtesy of Deep in the Heart

Stunning new wildlife film aims to inspire Texans to keep Texas beautiful

Keep Texas Beautiful

Move over David Attenborough and Barack Obama, there’s a new wildlife narrator on the job, and he’s here to both celebrate and conserve what makes Texas unique. Narrated by none other than Matthew McConaughey and coming to Texas theaters on June 3, Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Featuring state-of-the-art cinematography, the film journeys from the highest peaks in West Texas, through our aquifers, rivers, and bays, and deep into the Gulf of Mexico. The story is told through the eyes of wildlife species like the elusive mountain lion, and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve, and recover wildlife and the habitat we mutually depend on.

With a masters in wildlife biology from Texas A&M University, the film’s director, Ben Masters, hopes the film will inspire audiences to conserve our remaining wild places, to show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and to recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale. Best known for directing the award-winning feature-length documentary The River and the Wall, Masters also founded Fin and Fur Films, a production company specializing in short films featuring wildlife research, conservation, and activism. We connected with Masters for a few questions about his soon-to-be released new film.

CultureMap: What was the inspiration behind Deep in the Heart?
Ben Masters: Growing up, I was always fascinated with the BBC and National Geographic shows of wildlife in Africa or Antarctica. It wasn’t until I studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M did I realize that Texas also has incredible wildlife spectacles and diversity. I started making movies ten years ago with this film as a dream, and four years ago decided to go for it. It’s been an amazing experience and a huge challenge to make Texas’ first wildlife movie. Lots of pressure to make it as good as possible and really show off our state.

CM: Why tell the story through the eyes of wildlife?
BM: Many of the animals and behaviors are super fascinating and have never been filmed. Take ocelots for example: They’re our most beautiful cat and there’s never been quality videos ever taken of them in the wild in Texas. Or alligator gar and their fascinating life strategy of spawning during floods: Texans love Texas, and we have amazing wildlife that a lot of folks care about — so it made sense to produce a film like this.

CM: When did you first start production on this story?
BM: We began filming in 2018 and finished the edit in 2022. It took hundreds of days in the field and some sequences, like the mountain lion, took nearly a year to capture.

CM: What was the hardest part about putting a film like this together?
BM: The most difficult part was filming rare animals that are hard to find and getting quality footage of them. It was also incredibly satisfying when we did pull it off though.

CM: What was a standout memory from the process?
BM: A big standout memory was getting the news that Matthew McConaughey would narrate. He has such a unique voice that fits perfectly for the film, which will definitely help launch the conservation messaging for the general public.

CM: The trailer touts the film as a call to action: What are you hoping audiences will be inspired to do after watching the film?
BM: You’ve got to watch it to find out!!! We also have a take action page on our website to get involved with organizations doing great work across the state.

DEEP IN THE HEART | OFFICIAL TRAILER from Fin & Fur Films on Vimeo.

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Deep in the Heart comes to Texas theaters on June 3. Head to the film's website for more information.

Photo courtesy of Visit El Paso

From parks to zoos and more, outdoor adventure awaits in El Paso

Let's Go

Dubbed the last of Texas' wildest cities, El Paso is a nature lover's paradise. From mountain biking and trail running through its three state parks to visiting the 35-acre El Paso Zoo, or even cooling off this summer at one of four water parks, there is no shortage of al fresco activities in this West Texas town.

State parks
Hundreds of trails twist through Franklin Mountains State Park, starting from central El Paso to New Mexico. When trekking through these mountains, set aside at least a half day — this is the largest urban park in the U.S. The limestone and granite range of the Franklins houses such wildlife as mule deer, sheep, mountain lions, and an array of species of birds and reptiles ranging from rattle snakes to golden eagles. A painting of the Franklins by native El Pasoan Tom Lea even hung in the Oval Office with President George Bush.

Seen as a paradise for world-class climbing and archeological research, Hueco Tanks encompasses three low mountains that rise 6,787 feet above sea level. Its structure once sheltered tribes such as the Jornada Mogollan People, Mescalero Apaches, and Tigua Indians, giving them a stronghold. Here, thousands of rock and cave paintings of masks and stories can be observed. The famous structure of this arroyo provides unique hollows, or huecos, that capture rainwater. Known as the best spot in the world for bouldering, the ideal time to visit is November through March when it is not as hot.

Just west of Hueco Tanks sits Red Sands, which consists of 21 miles of off-roading opportunities. Thirty four million years ago, the entire area used to be under an ancient sea — today, you'll come across plenty of fossils. The park is open year-round and you can rent an ATV or arrive in your own 4x4 vehicle for a day of grilling and hanging out with friends and family.

El Paso Zoo
Locally recognized as the best place to take the kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. This expansive green space is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star Train, the Hunt Family Desert Spring water feature, and the Foster Tree House Playground.

Water parks
Get ready for May: That's when El Paso's four water parks open their pools for the summer. Each site is a one-of-a-kind aquatics destination featuring unique themes mixed with spiraling water slides, relaxing lazy rivers, spectacular kiddie playgrounds, refreshing leisure pools, climbing walls, lounge chairs, private cabanas, and much more.

Opened in summer 2021 and located at the foothills of the majestic Franklin Mountains in Northeast El Paso, Camp Cohen is your base camp for an adrenaline-packed sporty adventure. Thrill seekers can lap swim in Endurance River, climb the Warrior Wall, or ride high-octane Thunder Run, Lighting Bolt, or Monsoon Plunge slides. Little ones will enjoy their own aquatic adventure at the Poppy Island water playground within the Wild Lagoon.

Life is party at Chapoteo, a fiesta-themed water park. Zooming slides at the Calavera Plunge sends guests twisting and turning while the calm Rio Sereno offers a soothing lazy river experience. Looking to chill out? Las Casitas cabanas and the Marigold Plaza are great places to unwind while you savor a snack from La Olla cafe.

Immerse yourself in the ancient ruins of Lost Kingdom, where adventure chasers will enjoy zipping and twisting water-slide thrills at the Temple Drop, home to the Sun Temple and Moon Temple water slides. Challenge yourself on The Ruins climbing wall and the Mayan Lanes or splash around in the Macaw Lagoon surrounding the Jaguar Jungle, outfitted with interactive water features for endless hours of playtime.

Oasis, El Paso's newest and largest park, is located at Eastside Regional Park and is your summer retreat for family fun. Featuring El Paso's only surfing machine, Oasis also lets you kick back and cool off in the Driftwood Channel or spiral down the signature Tumbleweed slides. Take a break at the cabanas in the Hueco Dwellings after enjoying the Sunset Lagoon leisure pool and the Adventure Pointe water play area at the Rain Puddle kiddie pool.

Bonus: Cyclo de Mayo
Not quite ready to put your bike away? Head to downtown El Paso on May 7 for this family-friendly day of races that includes cash prizes for some categories. You can register online here through May 4 at 5 pm.

It's the last of Texas' wildest cities.

Photo courtesy of Visit El Paso
It's the last of Texas' wildest cities.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.


Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights

OONCE OONCE OONCE

Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata

4 San Antonio culinary pioneers win $21K from the Texas Food & Wine Alliance

CULINARY INNOVATION

Texas’ skyrocketing culinary scene is about to get a huge boost. The Texas Food & Wine Alliance’s grant program has awarded $107,500 to 19 culinary innovators around the state. This marks the Alliance’s 11th year providing funding to support culinary projects contributing to local communities.

The award winners were announced in a ceremony at Austin's Holdsworth Center on January 21. A private panel of distinguished culinary experts chose the winners out of 40 grant applications this year. Nine winners hail from Austin, three from Dallas-Fort Worth, three from Houston, and four from San Antonio. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with a special $25,000 grant investment from Austin favorite Tito’s Handmade Vodka in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. Grant funding will support chefs, farms, and culinary education groups, among others.

Out of the four San Antonio area winners, Talking Tree Farm received the most from the grant program, $6,250 to purchase shipping containers for storage and to buy a solar-powered cold room for their harvests. John Marshall High School’s culinary arts program will use their $5,000 grant to establish a morning café. Agricultural project Habitable Spaces and pasture-raised chicken farm Cielito Lindo Farm also won $5,000 each to purchase equipment or build infrastructure to further their endeavors in the culinary space.

Austin-area winners received the most funding from the grant program, totalling $53,750, while San Antonio winners received $21,250 in total. Dallas/Fort Worth winners were awarded $19,750, and the three Houston recipients won $12,750. All of the 2022 winners reflect just how diverse the state's trailblazing culinary scene continues to expand.

“All of this year’s funded projects will further enrich the state through innovation and giveback,” said Erika White, executive director of the Alliance. “We’re extremely grateful to each of the Texas communities, our sponsors and their support in allowing us to reward these mold-breaking projects.”

In Austin, organic farm Trosi Farms was awarded the most funding ($10,000), which will help construct a germination shed for more stable plant start production. Locavore pioneer Boggy Creek Farm won $7,500 in grants to provide ADA-compliant accessibility to their new climate-controlled Tomato House, while Texas’ first organic feed mill, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm, received $6,250 to help purchase a building to be used as a store for the local community.

The six other Austin area grant recipients, each winning $5,000, include Vista Farms at Vista Brewing, Jamaican family business Tierra Todun ATX, coffee roasters Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, culinary educator Chef Pascal Simon from Bake Austin, East Austin food truck Community Vegan, and Latinx pastry project Comadre Panaderia (who also just earned a James Beard nomination). All winners will be able to use their grants to improve efficiency and expand their businesses, or in Chef Pascal's case, further research and development for her upcoming cookbook for Gen-Z young adults.

After starting the program in Austin, grant co-chair and TFWA past president Cathy Cochran-Lewis says it was the Alliance’s dream to expand the grant statewide.

“We’re so humbled and thrilled to now not only support worthwhile projects across Texas but also to give more than a half million dollars in funding over the last decade to help dreams come true,” she says. “This is a tribute to the culinary talent and the community mindset we are lucky to have in our state.”

The winners in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas include:

For this year's Honorable Mention, the Alliance chose San Antonio eatery Tacos Cucuy, who will soon open a brick-and-mortar space with an expanded menu. Tacos Cucuy are currently looking for support to develop a Tex-Mex charcuterie program called La Cura Carnes Especiales.

More information about the 2022 grants and its recipients can be found on texasfoodandwinealliance.org.