Dallas Youth Village | KERA News

Dallas Youth Village

Dane Walters / KERA News

Café Momentum has been hosting once-a-month pop-up dinners in various locations for three years, but it will finally have a permanent home.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Meet Leonardo Alvarez, who spent much of his youth, as he puts it, “dealing dope.” That landed him in Dallas’ Youth Village juvenile detention center. He’s been through the Café Momentum program, which teaches young men how to work in restaurants.

In this video Leonardo talks about his girlfriend’s pregnancy, his legal stumbles and his struggle to stay on the straight and narrow.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Café Momentum has some of the hardest tables to book in Dallas. The once-a-month pop-up dinners sell out fast at $100 a plate. They’re held at hot restaurants around the city. They feature gourmet menus, top-notch table service and high-profile chefs who work side-by-side with eight kids who provide an unexpected twist: All eight are incarcerated at a Dallas County juvenile detention center.