Savor Dallas is a four day food festival like none other. This week, April 7-10, there are six events you will want to be at. With highly curated eats and hand selected chefs, Savor is doing it right!!
What am I looking forward to most? The final party, The Breakfast Club: Waffle Wars! Of course the eats of chefs around town are largely thoughtful, but I got an inside peek into the minds of the creators for one of the waffles to be devoured this Sunday. Chef Chad Houser and the fellas at Cafe Momentum took a moment to chat with me and it was an afternoon to remember!
Upon learning I was to interview Chad Houser my first thought was, "How exciting!". My next thought was, "What can I possibly ask him that hasn't been asked before?". Headline after headline, about Cafe Momentum, have rolled through my newsfeed. Most recently from my friends at WFAA, as part of their Shaping DFW series. All of that said, I figured I'll just ask the things that I want to know. So here it is...
The first thing you will notice about Chad is he is about his business, in the best way. He cares, deeply, for not only the food that is produced but for every individual that is put in front of him. Upon arriving, I walked in on family dinner, all of the young men who work at Cafe Momentum were huddled around tables chatting and enjoying a meal together. Chad would later tell me that this is a daily occurrence, it not only serves as an obvious means for a nourished, and in turn productive day, but also as a chance for the men to talk about (often difficult) life topics. Which lends to the bigger message, that the folks at Cafe Momentum are changing lives, one meal at a time.
So, what did I ask?
Me: What you have done here is create something that many people wish they could do, but don't know how, what is your advice to others who want to have a business with purpose?
Chad: Building a business is the same as giving, just start. It doesn't have to be perfect.
He then went on to reference a TED Talk, about How To Start A Movement. In this short video, it shows a man dancing and while no one joins at first it just takes one person to jump in before there are a sea of people dancing. So, just start dancing!
While there were many profound moments over the course of our chat, the other message that I felt was important is to not listen to the noise. Meaning, people will question the veracity of your intent along the way but that shouldn't stop you from continuing to do what you know is right. For Chad and his team, that means putting out consistently good food while educating the staff and patrons alike.
Where to start? "Open eyes without judgement...the city is BEAUTIFUL, even the ugly parts." - Chad Houser
Me: What is the biggest take away that the men who benefit from what you offer here have reflected back to you?
Chad: Just last week one of them came up to me and asked to talk. He had asked to talk numerous times before, but always bringing not so great news. This time he said, it's nothing bad! He then told me, where I use to plan my life around going to jail before...I can now say I'm not going to jail! That is thanks to you.
...a statement that was evident in the faces and demeanor of the gentlemen who were there that day.
His two head Chefs, and Co-Visionaries Chris Shortall and Aaron Collins (seen above) joined us for our chat too. Chad was quick to point to their camaraderie and synergy as a key factor to success. They decided to save their Waffle War brainstorming sesh for when I got there and it did not disappoint. I won't give it all away, but here's a tiny preview of what you can expect...
It was a swift session as they agreed on everything very quickly. I jumped in to suggest tiny quail eggs make the plate, but my suggestion was met with a quote for how many eggs they go through a week! Needless to say, they had it covered. Stating what makes them successful in the kitchen is there are no egos.
After hearing about all of the awesome food, and with the echos of family dinner coming to an end, I asked:
What meal do the guys like best?
They told me anything spicy! Last week, hot wings, deviled eggs, and spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette were on the menu. #YUM
Believe it or not, the boys love salad! It helps when the Chefs take time to explain the process of pulling greens from the ground. I think it's safe to say no metaphorical-leaf goes unturned here folks!
Waffle Wars is SOLD OUT, but if you are one of the lucky ones who made it in make sure and say HI, and Let's Eat! For full details and to check out the rest of their awesome events, head to the website. See you there Dallas!