Chef Serves Up Millionth Free Meal to Hungry Children

Air Date: 03/26/2015
Source:
NBC Nightly News
Creator:
Lester Holt/Joe Fryer
Air/Publish Date:
03/26/2015
Event Date:
03/26/2015
Resource Type:
News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
2015
Clip Length:
00:02:20

Chef Bruno Serato serves more than 1,000 hungry kids a day in Orange County, California, through Caterina's Club, an organization inspired by his late mother.

Chef Serves Up Millionth Free Meal to Hungry Children

LESTER HOLT, anchor:

Before we go tonight, we want to tell you about a kitchen that feeds some of the neediest kids in its area that just so happens to be inside one of the ritziest restaurants in the country. It's the passion of a chef with full heart who won't abide empty stomachs, especially among children. NBC's Joe Fryer has tonight's Making a Difference report.

JOE FRYER, reporting:

Of all the meals served at the Anaheim White House Restaurant--

BRUNO SERATO: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine--

FRYER: --Chef Bruno Serato's favorite is the one that calls for 90 pounds of pasta and 15 gallons of marinara.

SERATO: This is where all the magic happen.

FRYER: The story behind this massive feast dates back to 2005 when Serato and his mother Caterina stopped by a Boys and Girls Club and saw one boy eating potato chips for dinner.

SERATO: She definitely did not like that. Imagine Italian mom--pasta, pasta, pasta.

FRYER: So mom insisted the chef whip up an Italian dinner for the club.

SERATO: One of the kids was like, from one to 10, I'm rating you a 10 because your pasta's very good.

FRYER: That's probably the best review you ever got, right?

SERATO: The-- the number one ever.

FRYER: Chef Bruno has served nightly meals ever since.

SERATO: You want some pasta?

CROWD (in unison): Yes.

FRYER: Now feeding 1,200 kids a day through a nonprofit called Caterina's Club, named after his mom.

SERATO: She was very proud. I just lost her a few months ago. It was the hardest day of my life.

FRYER: You do this in honor of her?

SERATO: Even more now.

FRYER: After 10 years, they're celebrating 1 million meals served.

SERATO: Pasta.

CROWD (in unison): Pasta.

FRYER: Yet the chef's appetite continues to grow. He's focusing on another problem, families living in tiny motel rooms.

LIZZ FIGUEROA: This is my pantry.

FRYER: Lizz Figueroa, her husband and five kids call this cramped space home.

FIGUEROA: I've been telling them for years God has something better for us. God has something better for us.

FRYER: So does Chef Bruno. He started a program that gives families money to cover first and last month's rent and a security deposit.

SERATO: And I'm going to give you a key for a new house as soon as we find yours.

FRYER: The Figueroas are the eightieth family to get help.

FIGUEROA: God bless you.

SERATO: This is all thanks to my mom. Did I forget you?

FRYER: For Chef Bruno, the good reviews keep coming. Joe Fryer, NBC News, Anaheim, California.

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