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Cafe Momentum keeps tradition alive with pop-in dinner series

Cafe Momentum keeps tradition alive with pop-in dinner series

Cafe Momentum
Cafe Momentum begins a pop-in dinner series on April 12. Cafe Momentum/Facebook
Chef Andre Natera
Andre Natera is the first guest chef in the Cafe Momentum pop-in dinner series. Courtesy photo
Cafe Momentum
Chef Andre Natera

Cafe Momentum started on June 5, 2011, with a pop-up dinner featuring guest chef Jeffery Hobbs at the former Milestone Culinary Arts Center on McKinney Avenue. Now that the restaurant nonprofit has a permanent home in downtown’s Thanks-Giving Square, it’s keeping that tradition alive.

On April 12 at 6 pm, Cafe Momentum begins a monthly pop-in dinner series, when Andre Natera returns to Dallas from his current post at Austin’s Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa to be the first guest chef.

Executive director Chad Houser, a 2015 Outstanding Young American, says these pop-in dinners not only make longtime supporters happy, but they also provide continued opportunities for the interns to work with the “best in the business” outside of the restaurant’s day-to-day team.

Natera’s four-course menu is as follows:

  • East Side yams baked in clay, maple comb, smoked corn emulsion and agua dulce ogo seaweed
  • Carolina Gold rice congee, Vital Farms coffee egg, collards, crispy pork cheek, katsuobushi and peanuts habañero carrot hot sauce
  • Twin County Dorpers lamb, smoked harissa, kale paneer, pickled grilled brassicas, cardamom jus and roti bread
  • “Beet salad”: beet ice cream, goat cheese mousse, pistachio butter, foie gras-nola and sorrel

Tickets for the dinner are $100 each, and they go on sale Sunday, March 22, at 8 pm. Set an alarm, because these suckers always go fast.

Cafe Momentum is a restaurant training platform that provides post-release paid internships for juvenile offenders, through which they will receive intensive culinary, job and life-skill training, as well as continued mentoring and support to foster successful reentry into the community. In addition to significantly reducing recidivism, Cafe Momentum creates opportunities for long-term, sustainable, legal employment for a demographic that would otherwise continue to burden the justice system and taxpayers.

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