Cafe Momentum, one of my favorite Dallas charities, continues to change lives one plate at a time. Last night, chef Chad Houser and his crew of at-risk youths, volunteer chefs and the staff from the Youth Village Resources of Dallas held the fourteenth Cafe Momentum dinner to another sold-out crowd.
I love Cafe Momentum and what chef Chad Houser & his partners are doing to rescue at- risk kids. By teaching them FOH and BOH restaurant skills through frequent pop-up dinners around Dallas, these kids learn self-respect, accountability and the value of hard work, all wrapped in culinary skills and teamwork. The kids, many of whom have absent parents or lack positive adult role models, work in the kitchens alongside prominent chefs to prepare and serve dinners to guests whose tickets and donations support Cafe Momentum.
Last night, at Acme F&B, Cafe Momentum took over the space for their 14th such dinner. (Acme F&B owners Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson volunteered their restaurant for the occasion.)
Three chefs (including Acme’s Norman Grimm) and about a dozen kids cooked and served several courses, including this: red waddle pork with soy-mirin glaze, bacon jam, Brussels sprouts and celery root-apple purée. All the money raised went to fund the charity.
Houser is close to securing a permanent location for Cafe Momentum, which will allow him to offer the charity fundraiser dinners more frequently so he can boost the number of kids who participate.
So far, says Houser, 33 chefs have participated in preparing a CM dinner, and more than 1,000 people have attended a CM dinner, raising more than $260,000.
“Cafe Momentum is a community restaurant that’s built by the community. We’re changing the face of poverty and abuse one dinner at a time,” says Houser. “So far, we’ve changed the lives of 72 young men in fourteen months, which not only affects them but also they’re families.”