Joi Chevalier, Founder & chief executive officer

A veteran of corporate America, turned chef and entrepreneur, Joi Chevalier combines her technology background with culinary arts as Founder & CEO of The Cook’s Nook. The Cook’s Nook is a culinary incubator that provides kitchen production space, co-working, business and entrepreneur development, corporate services, food service, and channel and capital access for food entrepreneurs in the food+tech space.

Joi is a vocal advocate for women and African Americans in technology and also through food entrepreneurship. She regularly partners with corporate brands on developing entrepreneurial processes within corporate environments. She often speaks to audiences about entrepreneurship, food+tech; product management; data, personalization, and customization.

In 2018, she was the first African American woman to run for Comptroller of the State of Texas. Today, that experience helps her to connect policy to action in the areas of entrepreneurship and the food+tech. Joi serves on the Board of Directors of Annie’s List.

Joi established the Chevalier Fellows, which focuses on bringing Black and Brown consumer packaged goods businesses into the food industry through her role as a board member of NaturallyAustin.

Joi holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin. She is an honors graduate of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

She works with the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability’s Central Texas Regional Food Systems Organizing Committee. Joi has been a member of the Chefs Collaborative; Women in Food, Farming, and Food Technology; Women Chefs and Restaurateurs; and is currently a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (Austin Chapter), an international organization focused on exceptional women culinary entrepreneurs. Joi is presently a member of Google’s national Refresh Working Group, focused on solving challenges in food+tech ecosystem, and is a founder and culinary lead for Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Black Austin. She is a member of the City of Austin/Travis County Food Policy Board, appointed by Mayor Steve Adler.

In 2019 SCORE honored Joi with their Small Business Award. She is a two-time Austin Food and Wine Alliance Grant recipient (2017, 2019) and received the 2018 City of Austin Small Business Award for Excellence in Community Business Leadership. Joi also won the 2018 Citizen of the Year by the Greater Austin Area Black Chamber of Commerce. TRIBEZA selected Joi as one of its People of the Year in 2020 for her Keep Austin Together initiative. In 2021, Joi was recognized by the Woman’s Way Business Awards as a Disruptor, and she was highlighted as a Snailblazer by Slow Food USA.