2020 Chef of the Year Monte Sheffield Donates Award Funds to Charities in San Marcos, Texas

January 8, 2021

From left to right: Hays County Food Bank Executive Director Eleanor Owen-Oshan, Kristin & Chef Monte Sheffield and Own Your Own Universe Executive Director Terri Hendrix.


Wild American Shrimp’s 2020 Chef of the Year Monte Sheffield of Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard has donated his award money to the Hays County Food Bank and charity Own Your Own Universe in San Marcos, Texas.

Each year, Wild American Shrimp solicits nominations of chefs who champion the premium quality and taste of wild-caught, U.S. shrimp and advocate the benefits of choosing the American product over farm-raised, imported shrimp. The winner reigns for a year as the top Wild American Shrimp advocate and receives a customized award plate along with a $500 donation to a charity of their choosing. This year, Monte Sheffield chose to split the donation between the Hays County Food Bank and Own Your Own Universe.


The Hays County Food Bank is an organization with a passion for improving lives through food assistance programs, nutrition education and advocacy. The organization offers four free public distributions weekly at various locations and give food at no cost to about 20 partner agencies weekly for their own distributions. In 2020 alone, the food bank served an estimated 815 households (2,500 individuals) a week. The donation will go toward funding food rescue and food assistance programs.

Like Chef Monte, the Hays County Food Bank is passionate about serving fresh, locally-sourced food. In order to help combat the wide swathe of food-related illness (including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity) among the low-income population, the organization strives to make – distributions of at least 33% fresh produce. A staff nutrition coordinator creates healthy, low-budget recipes to encourage healthier habits.

The organization has worked with Chef Monte in the past, with Palmer’s Restaurant participating in numerous “Restaurant Weeks” benefitting both Hays County Food Bank and Central Texas Food Bank, where restaurant patrons could choose meals from a select menu with proceeds going to the food banks. Palmer’s also participated in the Meals 4 One and All Program earlier this year, donating a meal to a family in need for every four meals purchased.

“It takes a village to fight hunger, and Hays County Food Bank is grateful to have the support of local businesses like Palmer’s,” said Mallory Best, Communications Coordinator at Hays County Food Bank. “Every donation makes a difference, and fresh food makes a huge difference in keeping people well-nourished.”


Own Your Own Universe (OYOU) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based out of San Marcos and Martindale, Texas. The organization’s mission is to make the arts accessible to everyone, empowering and transforming lives by connecting the mind, body, and spirit through music and the creative arts. OYOU hosts a concert series, a kid’s music camp, festivals, and comprehensive music workshops and retreats.

The group often serves about 200 people at each local event. Due to COVID-19, all events have been hosted online, with a similarly large audience due to engagement across multiple Facebook pages.

OYOU will use 100% of the proceeds from Chef Monte’s award to pay teachers who lead classes online. with booking for winter classes currently underway.

Chef Monte and Own Your Own Universe have successfully worked together for many years. Any events that involve food have involved Monte. He has donated appetizers and/or provided a discount to the organization at most larger functions. Monte even has an OYOU donation box mounted on the wall of Palmer’s Restaurant with proceeds designated to help sponsor children to attend music camps.

“Monte is a tireless and fearless advocate for all things local, healthy and Texas,” said Terri Hendrix, Executive Director of Own Your Own Universe. “At a time when funds are so tight, the OYOU is honored to be a recipient of the funds Monte and Wild American Shrimp so graciously donated.”

We at Wild American Shrimp are proud to work with our 2020 Chef of the Year Monte Sheffield and can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for him and his community! To read more about Chef Monte Sheffield, visit his Wild American Shrimp Chef Advocate profile.