This Way In >>

Chef Chad Houser to Leave Parigi Restaurant to Lead Cafe Momentum Full-time

Chef Chad Houser, co-founder and head cheerleader of Cafe Momentum, quietly announced today that he will leave his job at Parigi Restaurant next month to become the executive director and executive chef of the nonprofit he and Parigi co-owner Janice Provost founded last spring.

Cafe Momentum teaches culinary skills — and, by extension, life skills and work ethics — to disadvantaged and troubled youths through frequent pop-up dinners around Dallas. 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. Cafe Momentum operates in conjunction with the Youth Village Resources of Dallas but has filed to become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Houser told me a few months ago that his goal was (and is) to find a permanent location for Cafe Momentum, and to offer the charity fundraiser dinners more frequently so he can boost the number of kids who participate. Tonight, Cafe Momentum is holding another one of its pop-up dinners, this time at Central 214, where Graham Dodds is the chef. These dinners are not heat-and-serve, Easy Bake Oven affairs, either. The menu tonight, for example, includes red snapper with artichokes, grapes and ajo blanco, which the kids and the chef prepare, plate and serve together.

Houser says, “Cafe Momentum reminds me why I fell in love with cooking in the first place. It’s familial. It nurtures souls and bodies. Regardless of their background, when these young men come into Cafe Momentum, they speak the same language: food. I’m very grateful to Janice for being such a supportive partner and friend, and to the Cafe Momentum board for believing in me.”

Houser is the Real Deal, too. He’s genuinely one of the nicest, most caring guys you’ll ever meet. When he speaks about CM and “his kids,” it’s hard to keep from tearing up.

Want to help Cafe Momentum? It’s easy: Every Friday night, Bolsa Mercado is selling prepared dinners to-go, and all proceeds benefit the organization. Or you can donate here.

Haywire Plano
The Ranch Las Colinas

Recently Published


The Exchange at the AT&T Discovery District adds pizza and ice cream just in time for Chefs for Farmers’ annual celebration!

The Exchange at the AT&T Discovery District has added two new ...


Serial restaurateur and all-around talented chef Nick Badovinus ...


Lobster dogs, brisket banh mi among 25 new foods you can buy at the State Fair of Texas this year

When Big Tex takes his perch on the midway at the State Fair of ...


Chicken Scratch & The Foundry have a new owner, new concept on the way

Announced over social media, Oak Cliff’s outdoor fried chicken ...


Creators of Twisted Root and Truck Yard debuts new Fort Worth country music & beer hall

The creators of Twister Root Burger Co. and the Truck Yard ...


McKinney’s Hutchins BBQ, already the best in far North Dallas, snags acclaimed pitmaster John Mueller for reopening team

Hutchins BBQ, already the best BBQ restaurant in far North Dallas, ...


This cool tumbler lid is your football game’s new best friend

Tailgating, meet your new best friend: the FlasKap Madic, an ...


Hot Date: Tap a 200-year-old beer keg at Truck Yard’s “Trucktoberfest” Sept. 18-19

Truck Yard in Dallas and The Colony will tap a 200-year-old beer keg ...


Phenomenally popular San Antonio Tex-Mex restaurant is expanding to Dallas Fort Worth

San Antonio-based Las Palapas is bringing its popular, casual ...