Chad Houser: How Café Momentum Changes Lives

Cafe Momentum

Have a wonderful meal. Help change lives. It’s a simple, but powerful message put forth by Chad Houser, executive director and executive chef at Café Momentum, in a segment of the Shaping DFW video series sponsored by Cadillac on the WFAA.com website.

Café Momentum is a restaurant and training facility at 1510 Pacific St. in downtown Dallas that takes at-risk young people who have been involved in the legal system and aims to transform their lives through intensive culinary, work and life-skill training as interns. Houser says the legal system has a name for such youths — throwaways.

“We are creating momentum for these kids to build upon the rest of their lives.” _Chad Houser, executive director and executive chef at Café Momentum

“We are creating momentum for these kids to build upon the rest of their lives,” Houser says in the video.

Houser talks about how Cafe Momentum got its name, and how its internship program takes young people who have become involved in the legal system and puts them through a rigorous 12-month internship program to teach them about the restaurant industry, and so much more.

Houser says the impact of food on people’s lives goes back to his own childhood, having Sunday supper at his grandparents’ home.

“Food became something more than eating,” Houser says. “You were nurturing your soul.”

Houser says the interns complete five “stations” during the yearlong program and that they learn about life, relationships, and teamwork in process.

“These are kids who are growing up in a world in which they are just trying to survive,” Houser says.


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