Calif. chef serves up generosity to homeless kids
(CBS News) ANAHEIM, Calif. - A while back "On The Road" introduced us to a man who had heard a voice, telling him to share his good fortune. The voice was his mother's.
Well, he' still listening to his mother and is giving even more unto others. We caught up with him..."on the road."
Bruno Serato, owner of the Whitehouse restaurant in Anaheim, had a pretty carefree life of hosting and hobnobbing with Orange County's most rich and famous.
That was until his mother Catarina came over to visit from Italy, and messed up everything.
As we first reported a couple years ago, Bruno was on the board of the local Boys and Girls Club and he just wanted his mom to see the place. The club serves a lot of homeless kids who sometimes go hungry.
Watch "CBS Evening News" first report on Bruno Serato from 2010:
Bruno told his mom this, and according to club director Mike Baker - that was it.
"I heard her in Italian," said Mike, "grab his arm and say some things to him, and he just started raising his hands and goes, 'Mama, mama, OK, OK, OK!'"
She basically ordered Bruno to feed the kids that night -- all of them.
"Seventy to 80," said Bruno, "and I was like, 'Oh my God.'"
Bruno said it was a lot of food to just give away, but Mama wouldn't leave the kitchen until he did it.
"That was actually April 18, 2005," said Mike, "and it's happened everyday since."
Although not even Mama expected him to do it more than once. Bruno has since served about a quarter of a million very nice meals.
"Here we have some of the poorest children in Anaheim eating from one of the most exclusive restaurants every single night," said Mike.
Bruno says the kids are now, by far, his favorite customers. "You have to see to believe it," he said.
Only here do his profiteroles get this kind of reaction. He says it makes all the sacrifice worthwhile.
And there has been sacrifice. Bruno has had to refinance his restaurant.
"I had to refinance my house also," said Bruno. When we asked him how can he keep feeding these kids, he answered: "How can I stop?"
Using that same logic, he now does even more. "Why should I not?"
Since our last visit, Bruno has gone from feeding, to housing as well.
This family from the Boys and Girls Club had been living in a motel. The mom, like a lot of working poor, could never save the first and last month's rent required to get her own place, which is why Bruno has been holding fundraisers to cover that cost for people.
So far, he has made the dream come true for 20 families. And there will be more. In fact, Bruno said he'll continue helping these families right up to the day he goes to heaven.
"I know I'm going to go to heaven," he said. "I know I'm going to go first-class, champagne, caviar, one-way, non-stop. That is for sure."
Just don't book it yet, Bruno.
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