For many years, chef Bruno Serato had been serving fancy gourmet food at his iconic restaurant, The White House of Anaheim in California to rich patrons and celebrities.
He had another agenda though.

Bruno Serato, an Italian immigrant who entered the US with just $200 in his pocket as a child, worked his way up from a busboy to being a restaurant owner with just one purpose in life - feeding the poor children of California


Bruno, an Italian immigrant who entered the US with just $200 in his pocket as a child, worked his way up from a busboy to being a restaurant owner with just one purpose in life - feeding the poor children of California and beyond via his non-profit organization, Caterina's Club (named after his late mother). 

All his earnings from the restaurant went to serving the children pasta for free so that they are never hungry. Even during the recession, he refinanced his own house just so that he could continue to pay to feed the children. Over the years, he has extended his reach to helping hundreds of families escape motel living and get permanent housing. 

The regal-looking 'White House in Anaheim' was the only restaurant in the world  that served over 2250 dinners to children in need every night,  totaling over 15 lakh free dinners in Southern California alone.
The regal-looking 'White House in Anaheim' was the only restaurant in the world that served over 2250 dinners to children in need every night, totaling over 15 lakh free dinners in Southern California alone. 


Bruno Serato, an Italian immigrant who entered the US with just $200 in his pocket as a child, worked his way up from a busboy to being a restaurant owner with just one purpose in life - feeding the poor children of California


Which is why this paragraph hurts more. In a heartbreaking twist, the White House of Anaheim caught fire in February 2017 from an electrical mishap. When the flames were ultimately extinguished, there was nothing left of the restaurant. The damage was extensive and would not be completely covered by insurance. 
Even as he stood in the middle of the charred remains of his life's dream, Bruno was seen crying, worried over what the children would do now and who would look after them.

The angel in a chef's hat did not realize it but a thousand different angels were about to unfold their wings.


He would cry again later that evening as he returned home heartbroken and turned on his internet. Social media across Anaheim stood up to console Bruno during his worst moments with messages of love and kindness. Tales of his generosity and their memories of him flooded the net. Of course, that was not all. Competing restaurants opened up their kitchens and pantries to Bruno, allowing him to continue feeding his children without missing a day. 

Bruno Serato serving at the Christ Cathedral a week after the tragic fire at the White House of Anaheim
Bruno Serato serving at the Christ Cathedral a week after the tragic fire at the White House of Anaheim

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange gave Bruno the keys to their kitchen and conference room at their Christ Cathedral to continue making and serving the children. Patrons and philanthropists stepped in and held fund raisers to help Bruno rebuild from scratch once more. Hundreds have volunteered man hours to help him when the time comes to start building a new restaurant.

Today, in April 2017, the journey continues for Bruno. Thanks to the love he served over the years, thousands have stood up to show their love not just in words but in deeds, ensuring Bruno's dream continues and children still get served some of the best pasta in California by their favourite chef, a real knight and a true hero.

Bruno Serato serving at the Christ Cathedral a week after the tragic fire at the White House of Anaheim

This is a gift from God. I can’t thank people enough for all the love and support we’ve received from restaurants, the community and people I don’t even know. Thank you.”
- Sir Bruno Serato

Why I want you to remember Sir Bruno Serato


When you give out kindness to the world, you are rewarded with kindness a hundred fold in return.


Chosen as one of 2011's CNN heroes of the Year, this is a man who has spoken at the United Nations and on Vatican TV. He has received a papal blessing from Pope Francis and a humanitarian award at the steps of the U.S. Capitol. In fact, he is Sir Bruno Serato, having being knighted by the Italian government.

Do you want to show your support for Bruno Serato?
Share a kind word with him here on Facebook or you could also help rebuild the dream here.

This is part of my #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes: Shining Examples of Kindness and Compassion. You can find other real-life heroes here.

27 Comments

shalz75 said…
Another amazing gem from your arsenal of goodness Doc!!! Goodness begets goodness as seen in this story!!

The angel in a chef's hat did not realize it but a thousand different angels were about to unfold their wings.

This is a beautiful line, Doc.

And I sobbed like a baby as i read this...
Manjula said…
One of my favourite stories so far!
Geetika Gupta said…
Yet another heart warming story by you, Roshan! This April made me smile a lot... all credits to your theme!

Cheers
BoisterousBee
Soumya said…
Definitely my favorite!

15 lakh free dinners? Oh so amazing! This man needs to live like forever.
Deepa said…
How sweet of him! All these stories inspire us to thin differently as we only think about ourselves.
Kalpanaa M said…
Fabulous story - people are so kind and so dedicated to their passion to help.
Worry #Lexicon of Leaving
Natasha said…
This is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing such amazing stories of human angels. There are so many out there. And we only see the dark side.

What a great idea to acknowledge all of them through your posts. Thank you.


Natasha
natashamusing

Travel Epiphanies:
Walk of Wisdom
Feeding the hungry is truly Gods blessing.I am astounded by how you have mananged to find heart warming stories for the entire month.Amazing
Wow... this has left me (yet again) speechless. I'd say this is my favorite of your collection, Rosh, but I like them all, and can't pick one...
Namy said…
I love how you have told his story so well. Indeed, yet another inspirational story
Shilpa Garg said…
Wow! Another beautiful and heartwarming story of love, kindness and compassion!
Vinodini Iyer said…
For once, I felt like becoming a child again so that I could be a part of his gang of children to savor the pasta he makes! I have no words for this man's love for the children. Simply, awesome.
Truly a superhero...even in the time of the fire crisis, all he could think of was that the children would go hungry that night...hats off!

Shubhangi @ The Little Princess
Mary Burris said…
What a wonderful story. It's true - one never truly knows the reaching effect of one's kindness to another.

~Mary
Jingle Jangle Jungle
#AtoZChallenge 1970's Billboard Hits
Shalini said…
That is just wow! What a beautiful tale! <3
bellybytes said…
As usual another tear jerker. Each of your stories is a gem ....thanks for sharing them
Suzy said…
God bless him. I hope his restaurant starts up again soon.

Suzy at Someday Somewhere - When will we learn.
Sarah Zama said…
Sometimes is hard to remember it in this callous world, but I do think that good deeds will be reward, and when least you expect it.

@JazzFeathers
The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir
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Dipika said…
We (human race) think when we buy good and branded stuff spending millions of hard earned money might give us happiness. But the truth is Real Happiness comes from Giving.
What a warm personality and thanks for sharing this with us.
Hiral Amodia said…
Kindness in all forms is divine. Loved this post.
Nameesh N said…
This is such a nice story, sometimes you read people doing something like this, feel like the earth is a good place. I hope there are many more take cue from this and give back to society.
Bushra said…
That's very beautiful cause Sir Bruno Serato initiated. Feeding empty stomach save humanity on this earth.
Geethica Mehra said…
I feel a man who starts from scratch knows the real value of money and how hard it is to earn it. His generous nature has helped many of needy people. His kindness will never go unnoticed.
Wow what a kind man whose gendrosity has helped so many children.sad that his restaurant burnt down but what a tremendous support and love from the community and strangers alike