The Cook’s Nook
CEO & Founder
Joi Chevalier worked as a senior e-commerce product strategist and technical marketing director for Internet venture startups and Fortune 50 companies, with a specific focus on creating personalized experiences for online customers based on their history, behavior, and industry trends. She specialized in developing innovative Internet products, applications and customer experiences; establishing new markets; leading large multinational teams; launching new products into global markets, marketing through real-time use of data analytics and user-behavioral activity, with the goal of providing the best customer experiences online. For her products and programs, she received Best New Product awards for MatrixInsight, and the Vice-President’s Soul of Dell Award for PartnerDirect Online, Dell’s online channel business launch that earned over $5b in its first year.
After nearly 20 years in the tech industry, Joi decided to make a change.
An Honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Joi combines the best of her technology background with her love of culinary arts in a new culinary incubator – The Cook’s Nook – which provides kitchen space, co-working, business development, entrepreneur development, channel and capital access for food entrepreneurs and corporate brands in the food+tech industry. More recently, The Cook’s Nook has expanded to include Food Services, developing the Keep Austin Together initiative. She mentors in UT’s IC2/City of Austin Small Business Development Office program – FASTForward and Small Business Accelerator – focused on entrepreneur development; recently started as a mentor in the City of Austin’s Challenge Studio Program; judged InnoTech’s March Madness; and is a judge in the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition.
Additionally, she was a member of Slow Food USA; earned the Slow Food Austin chapter scholarship and membership to Chefs Collaborative; is a member of the new Women in Food, Farming, and Food Technology; a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR); and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (Austin Chapter), an international organization focused on exceptional women culinary entrepreneurs. Ms Chevalier is the 2017 Austin Food and Wine Alliance’s (AFWA) Gina Burchenal Grant recipient, a grant recognizing women entrepreneurs, and the 2018 City of Austin Small Business Award for Excellence in Community Business Leadership. She’s recently a member of Google’s national Refresh Working Group, focused on solving challenges in food+tech ecosystem. She’s recently joined the Board of Naturally Austin, the food+tech community supporting natural / CPG brands, and the City of Austin / Travis County Food Policy Board as an appointee of Mayor Adler. She is SCORE Austin’s Small Business Award 2019 recipient; an AFWA 2019 Grant recipient for the second time, and a Finalist for the Austin Mosaic Awards focused on diversity and inclusion in Austin business. Joi and her team work with large brands integrating entrepreneur practices into corporate processes, and works with the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability’s Central Texas Regional Food Systems Organizing Committee. Dell Medical at UT Austin named her one of their 2020 Health Leadership Heroes, and She’s A Pro Award from BiGAustin.. She and The Cook’s Nook have been featured in Forbes Magazine, Huff Post, James Beard Foundation, Tech.Co, AmericanInno, SoulCiti, Field and Feast, AustinCommon, FoodTank, and in news features around Texas. The Cook’s Nook started a new virtual conference – Conference on Food Resilience, Access, and Equity – in 2021, focused on innovation in solving food insecurity under COVID-19.
Tribeza Austin selected Ms Chevalier as one of its People of the Year for her innovative food efforts started early during the COVID-19 pandemic, called Keep Austin Together, which served over 250K meals to vulnerable populations and school districts in Travis County, and will serve over 310K meals in 2021. Woman’s Way Business Award selected Ms Chevalier as one of its 2021 Women of the Year as a Disruptor, and she was nominated for the 2021 Women of Purpose Award for Les Dames D’Escoffier for her ongoing work leading Keep Austin Together. Slow Food USA highlighted The Cook’s Nook as a Snailblazer in Food+Community for 2021 during their national Snailblazer awards.
Ms. Chevalier continues to serve her community through non-profit organizations that address empowerment of young women through education and service. She served as a Board Member of Morning Star Rising, an afterschool curriculum and mentoring program for girls in grades 5-8, and is the immediate past chair of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas Alumnae Association which has provided 7 scholarships to Central Texas Girl Scouts heading to university. She was also the Communications Chair and Member Services Chair of the Austin Astronomical Society with a focus on family space sciences awareness and STEM enhancement through Astronomy. She’s the hostess of the Women’s Entrepreneurs Potluck, a bi-monthly salon composed of 100+ Central Texas women entrepreneurs. She is a Member of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, a Life Member of the National Black MBA Association, and Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts of the USA.
Her civic service includes past roles on the Allandale Neighborhood Association Executive Committee; worked with the Democratic Party Travis County Convention Resolutions Committee; and served as a member of the Texas Democratic Party Chairman’s Platform Advisory Committee, writing platform sections on voting rights, election transparency, food justice, and foreign policy. At the TDP State Convention, she was appointed to the Nominating Committee for Party Officials. She’s served as an Obama Delegate at County and State Convention in 2008 and at County Convention in 2012, and as a Bernie Sanders Delegate at County and State Convention in 2016. She was recently honored as the 2018 Citizen of the Year by the Greater Austin Area Black Chamber of Commerce. She currently is a board member of Austin-Travis County Food Policy Board.
Ms Chevalier is the first African-American woman to be a candidate for statewide executive office in Texas, as the Democratic candidate for Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts in the 2018 election cycle. She is currently on the board of Annie’s List, focused on electing progressive women candidates to office, and with Col. Kim Olson (ret), leads WomenWin, a group of 200+ women candidates and staff focused on supporting women-led campaigns. She has recently joined the board of Progress Texas, the progressive media outlet. In 2021, she joined Emerge Texas, on their committee for Development+Equity.
Ms. Chevalier graduated from Incarnate Word Academy HS in Houston as valedictorian, and was awarded a 5-year Texas Exes Scholarship and earned an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts in Latin and English from The University of Texas at Austin. She attended Brasenose College, Oxford University in Oxford, UK as a part of the Texas Oxford Summer Program. As a UT Presidential Scholar, she earned a Master’s degree in English Literature and Technology also from the University of Texas at Austin. Through business, she is a graduate of the DELL ERG Leadership Series and the TechRanch Venture Forth Program, Cohort 29. In her community, she is a 2014 graduate of CityWorks Austin and a Battleground Texas 2015 Future Leaders Program graduate.
When not working at The Cook’s Nook, or participating in community or civic activities, Joi spends her time with her husband of 22 years. She speaks regularly on entrepreneurship; food+tech; product management; data, personalization, and customization; and the opportunity for women and African-Americans in STEM, technology, and through food+tech entrepreneurship. She travels extensively, grows roses, reads scholarly texts on Milton, Latin and medieval handwriting, culinary history and science fiction and fantasy, and can be found online playing World of Warcraft and Diablo III. She loves The Witcher; participates in high performance driving events at Circuit of the Americas and Harris Hill Raceway; and spends way too much time camping in the Texas State Parks system while still studying the stars through her telescope.