The restaurateur has been feeding poor kids for years in his best restaurant.
The Italian heads the White House. His name is Bruno Serrato, he is 62, and his White House (the name is related to the fact that it resembles the residence of US presidents) is a historic restaurant in Anaheim, a California city close to Los Angeles, where the premier Disneyland park is placed. Since 2005, Chef Serrato has implanted 3 million hot meals to kids who would otherwise have missed dinner. The 2008 economic crisis did not cease him, as did the fire that annihilated his restaurant in February 2017, forcing it to end for a year and a half.
“When a misfortune occurs to you,” Serrato says, “you have to do what you like best. It was they who gave me the power to get out of the hell, not only sultry, but psychological as well, and start all from the beginning.”
It all started 14 years ago one afternoon when the cook, together with his mother Katerina, volunteered at the club center for boys and girls, a company that supports needy minors.
“It was around 16:00,” Serrato recalls, “and we see the kid chewing chips. The head of the center explains to me that it will be his dinner because he lives with his parents in a motel room without a kitchen. Mom Katerina instantly said to me; why don’t you prepare for him some pasta? But there were 20-30 more kids in the center in the same state. So, I purchased noodles for everyone.
In 2008 the economic crisis that broke out in 2009, made the number of needy kids from the initial 30 to 300 or more per day, implanted in various centers. In 2009, there were over 300 kids living in the USA.
“So many visitants come here to Disneyland for amusement but those who work for them,” explains the cook, “frequently receive a minimum wage, which it is hard for them to support their family. The majority of people live in motels because they can’t save enough to make a deposit for a flat rental. Thus, they don’t have a kitchen, and their kids frequently skip dinner.”
Until 2011, the self-funded project “nurse the kids” was under threat of termination.
“The situation has worsened because of the crisis, and the manager of my restaurant told me that free pasta is too costly-annually approximately $ 80,000. But at the same time, – the cook carried on telling, – the manager of the boys and girls club told me that pasta is no longer enough for all kids. I prayed to God and doubled the quantity of pasta in the expectation of wonder.”
The wonder came true when CNN named Serrato one of the “ten heroes of the year”, which gave him such recognition that he gained a lot of contributions.
“I was instantly contacted by Barilla from Italy, who sent me an entire van of spaghetti. He still furnishes me with pasta as well as sauces,” says the cook.
Who at that moment made a decision to create a charitable fund, calling it the Katerina Club in honor of her mother (who passed away in September 2014 on the eve of her 90th birthday) and expand her activities in addition to nursing kids, which currently implants weekly 20,000 hot meals to 80 centers in 27 towns of Orange County located in the Los Angeles territory- Los Angeles with two other initiatives.
Serrato concludes it this way.
“I assist families having kids to leave the motels where they live, frequently side by side with drabs and drug dealers. I provide them with an apartment as well as pay them the necessary two months as a warranty and deposit for hire.
“Parents,” says the cook, ” initially didn’t believe not understanding my aim. “My son was the worst in school, and currently, he’s the best in class, “they tell me.”
“The Academy of Hospitality” is the third project aimed at endangered teens.
“For three months I have been forcing them to become employees in my restaurant, teaching them all the professions of this field, from the dishwasher to the waiter and cook.
He himself started out as a dishwasher when he arrived in California in 1980 with only $200.
“I had the desire to learn English, as well as Italian and French, which I speak because I was born in France, where my parents emigrated after the war,” says the cook.
In Italy, where the family returned at the age of 66, Serrato worked in restaurants from the age of 14.
“My sister, who got married and lived in California, invited me to live jointly for the premier two months. But I,” the cook recalls, “soon got tired of staying at home and got a job as a dishwasher in the White House. Four years later I became a manager, and in the seventh year, I asked to purchase a restaurant myself. But I didn’t have enough savings.”
The old master only needed a handshake to instill confidence in Serrato and hire him at the White House for three years to save enough time so that he could get a bank loan and become the owner himself. Bush and celebrities such as singer Andrea Bocelli, football player Pele and director Carlo Ponti Jr., son of Sophia Loren., called me on the day of the fire to gain bravery. It seemed to me that entire Italy was embracing me.” The actress wrote in the introduction to Serrato’s book “the strength of pasta”: “Bravo, Bruno. You have used pasta, the most popular culinary product in Italy, as the ideal method to motivate an individual to do good deeds.