Café Momentum is a non-profit restaurant concept that serves as a culinary training facility for the disadvantaged. The primary focus is on the Dallas County Youth Village, a juvenile detention facility for 13-17 year old non-violent adjudicated young boys. With the help of the Youth Village Resources of Dallas 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, founded by Parigi’s chef/owners Janice Provost and Chad Houser, for one year where the young men will have a chance to work every aspect of a restaurant from busser to cook.
Until the Café is fully funded and operational the board of directors opted to create a series of ‘pop-up’ restaurants in the Dallas area not only to raise the needed funs but to create awareness for the program. Also, the young men in the program have an opportunity to serve at each of the dinners.
Last night about 85 guests of Café Momentum enjoyed the second pop-up dinner hosted by El Centro College at their Food and Hospitality Service Dining Room used for the brilliant culinary program at the school. Cheffing was Randall Copeland of Restaurant Ava.
Next month local wunderkind chef Sharon Hage will be cooking to an already sold out crowd at Garden Café, followed by Lucia’s David Uygur who will be cooking his signature Italian fare at Maple and Motor. Other guest chefs that follow are Abraham Salum and Matt McCallister at locations yet to be named. [edit: Uygur’s dinner is now sold out as well]
We spoke with Chef Hage last evening who was catering a private function and she was excited about the upcoming dinner. Hage is taking time of,f traveling and cooking for charity and private events with no plans in the works to open a new restaurant at this time.
Buy your tickets early and help with this amazing cause. We will be looking deeper into the behind-the-scenes action for café Momentum and the culinary program at Youth Village in weeks ahead.