by Steven Doyle
Photos by Robert Bostick
It has always been my contention that restaurateurs are some of the most generous people on the planet. Perhaps it is inherent in their personalities that drives them to make others happy and feed them. We see their acts of kindness each week at a variety of charity events that take place across Dallas and Fort Worth on any given night. For each event we bear witness to this generosity as the chefs not only donate their time, but also their product.
This is a fact that escapes most people when attending a charity event. We taste the rack of lamb samples, or perhaps a beautifully prepared hand made pasta or the abundance of pork belly. More often than not this is all considered a donation by the restaurant.
Taking this concept one step further both Janice Provost and Chad Houser of restaurant Parigi have come up with an amazing concept that will not only feed the masses, but employee them as well.
Café Momentum was born from the desire to once again give back to the community by employing 13-17 year old non-violent adjudicated young boys in a non-profit restaurant concept that serves as a culinary training facility for the disadvantaged. With the help of the two restaurant owners Youth Village has created a culinary program within the facility that is currently teaching the students basic culinary skills. Upon completing the program, the students graduate to a paid position working in the Youth Village cafeteria. The final result would be the opportunity to work at Cafe Momentum for one year.
To raise awareness plus much needed funds to actually open the restaurant the board of Momentum developed a series of pop-up dinners to be held at Milestone Culinary Arts Center on McKinney near Abacus. The first of its kind was held this past weekend as chef Jeffrey Hobbes from Suze restaurant executed a beautiful menu to 75 hungry patrons of Café Momentum.
The next event will be held once again at the Milestone July 10, 2011 at 6pm and will feature the chefs from Restaurant Ava in Rockwall who have created much buzz in our community for their farm-to-fork concept.