Title: Founder/Executive Director/President, Caterina's Club;
Owner/CEO, Anaheim White House
Organization/Business: Caterina's Club/Anaheim White House
“Chef Bruno Serato has been acclaimed as the world-class chef owner of Anaheim's White House restaurant, but his humanitarian work -- feeding 3,500 at-risk children every day -- is what makes him a Local Hero. Chef Bruno's philanthropic efforts have now grown to include assisting hundreds of low-income "motel families" in finding permanent apartment housing, and diverting high school students from gangs and other bad influences to programs designed to teach hospitality industry skills and offer paid internships. His work serves as the best example of how a local business owner can achieve success while impacting his community in so many important ways.”
Jonathan Strum, Nominator
- In 1987 Chef Bruno Serato, an Italian from San Bonifacio, Verona took over the ownership of the Anaheim White House Restaurant, built in 1909 as a replica of the Washington D.C. White House and designated as a national historical landmark.
- In 2005 Chef Bruno and his mother, Caterina, noticed and fed one hungry “motel child” and soon began making pasta for 75 children, five nights a week, establishing “Caterina’s Club.” This overarching vision that started as preventing children in motels going to bed hungry has expanded to 4,039 vulnerable children receiving a meal every night at 77 sites throughout LA, San Diego and Orange Counties - over 20,194 children a week. “Caterina’s Club has served 2,831,458 meals to date and the club has expanded to 25 cities.
- 182 families have been placed in permanent housing in safe neighborhoods through the Serato’s Welcome Home program, and 132 teens have been trained through the Hospitality Academy at four Anaheim High Schools.
- Serato has inspired change in the world by speaking at special events for over 30 years including the United Nations, Vatican TV and National Convention to audiences of up to 100,000 individuals about his charity program Caterina's Club to inspire people around the world to end world hunger.
- In Feb. 2017 Anaheim White House suffered devastating fire destroying the restaurant and over $2M in damage. Plans to rebuild commenced almost immediately. Two days later – with the help of local restaurants – Serato continued his mission of feeding the local hungry children. A full donation of a kitchen by the Christ Cathedral was given so that Caterina’s club could continue feeding the children until the rebuild was completed. And restaurant reopened in April 2018.
- Knighted by the Italian government, Sir Bruno Serato’s awards include being named a Hometown Hero by PEOPLE Magazine (2011) and being recognized as a Top 10 2011 CNN Hero on internationally televised "CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute" hosted by Anderson Cooper. Other awards include Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient, Red Cross Humanitarian Award, California Travel Culinary Champion of the Year, and many more
More about Chef Bruno Serato:
OC Register: One year later: Bruno Serato reflects as he prepares to reopen fire-damaged Anaheim White House