Today we meet Bruno Serato, Italian Chef emigrated to the US, honored by CNN as american hero. For 11 years together his Caterina’s club he helps to give a meal for unprivileged in Anaheim.
Bruno is the owner of the Anaheim White House Restaurant and producer of three programs: “Feeding the Kids in America”, “Welcome home”, “Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy”.
We know him together:
1)Nine words to introduce you.
Restauranter, philanthropist, and CNN Hero Sir Chef Bruno Serato.
2)What is the episode that started your food passion?
When mamma Caterina let me stay home from school to help her at our family restaurant when I was just 13 years old.
3) What is the Caterina’s Club and how was it born?
In 2005, Me and my mother, Caterina, visited the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim down the street from my restaurant (Anaheim White House), where my mother noticed that there was a 6-year old boy eating potato chips for dinner, because his family couldn’t afford a proper meal. My Mom insisted that I make some pasta for the child. We soon realized that there were many more of these hungry ‘motel children’, so I began making pasta for 72 children, 5 nights a week, giving birth to our program “Feeding the Kids in America”. Today, that event has expanded to feeding nearly 1,800 children, 5 nights a week. Frustrated that feeding the children was not enough; I began a second program called “Welcome Home”, where we provide qualified families, living in the dark environment of a motel, with the necessary resources to move into the safety and stability of an apartment or condo. To date, Caterina’s Club has provided permanent housing assistance to 96 families. More recently, I launched a third program titled, “Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy”, a career exploration and job-training program for High School students at risk of becoming homeless. With our three-pronged approach to homelessness and hunger, we are promoting the autonomy of underprivileged families.
4) What does it mean to you to be an Italian chef abroad?
Being an Italian chef means more than providing insight to my counties tastes and culinary customs, but it means sharing the heart of Italian families by welcoming everyone to share the table. Italian cuisine goes beyond spices and product specific to our region, but it is a way of dining and of living. Providing this authentic Italian experience to others abroad is what my mission has been since I first left my country.
5) What is the Italian recipe that most represents you?
Pasta Aglio Olio, a timeless classic!
6) What are the three essential Made in Italy products for your kitchen?
Olive Oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and pasta!
7) Who cooks at your house?
I am the chef at home, too!
8) Which one in your opinion is the biggest stereotype foreigners have about the Italian cuisine or Italian food?
People think Italians only eat pizza and pasta, but in fact we gave birth to some of the most delicious and renowned fish and meat dishes.
9) Speaking about the “Italian Sounding” phenomenon, what do you think are the solutions to oppose it?
Yes it’s a world problem and last year I was honored at the Italian camera dei deputati we talk a lot about it and the Italian government it’s doing good thing already about it. the Italian quality it’s getting bad reputation about those counterfeit product, I remember once to have buy prosciutto San Daniele with name and Italian flag on it. After I taste it, I realize could not be a San Daniele. it was horrible. In fact, I realize in small print it was from different country.
10) What are the future projects of the Caterina’s Club?
As mentioned above, we have our three core programs that address homelessness and hunger. Our most recent program, Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy has served 30 students, but we plan to expand the academy admissions to 100 students a year. Finally, to date, we have replicated our program in cities all over the globe including Chicago, Texas, New York, Mexico, and Italy. It is our vision to continue this expansion to every state and country, with our message “The Power of Pasta- a sustainable, affordable, and delicious source of energy for the world”.