Chef Bruno Serato serves spaghetti to children.
For thousands of poor or homeless children in California, you could say that Chef Bruno Serato is a real super-hero, vanquishing hunger by the plateful -- three million meals in 14 years, to be exact.
His powers lie in the pasta topped with tomato sauce that he prepares on weekdays for some 5,000 underprivileged kids living in the region of Anaheim, in southern California.
"With the pasta, I can win the war against hunger," jokes the 62-year-old during a recent interview at his famed restaurant "The White House," located some 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Los Angeles.
"I don't need missiles, I don't need guns, I don't need stuff like that," he adds. "I just need pasta to win the war."
Every week, from Monday through Friday, Serato faithfully boils nearly 800 pounds (350 kilograms) of spaghetti and potfuls of sauce to feed hungry children through his Caterina's Club foundation, named after his mother.
The genesis for his project dates to April 18, 2005, when Serato, who was born in France to Italian parents and who moved to the United States in 1980, toured a children's center near his restaurant.
He was accompanied by his mother, who was visiting from Italy and who was horrified by what some of the children were eating for dinner because their families couldn't afford a proper meal.
One six-year-old boy, who lived in a motel and whose parents had no money or even a kitchen in which to cook, was munching on chips.
"Like all Italian mothers, she said: 'If he's hungry, he can eat pasta' and we immediately headed to the restaurant kitchen to make him some," recalled Serato.
"I haven't stopped making pasta since," he added.
Serato has since served three million meals to hungry children in nearly 90 sites, including schools and community centers, throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.
He and his foundation are celebrating that milestone Thursday with 200 children invited to his restaurant.
He recently decided to shut down his upscale restaurant at lunch to focus on the meals for the children.
"We were busy at lunch before but never fully booked," he said. "So I made a choice."
"Just start with one small thing, You can start with a 'hello,' a 'good morning.' Do one plate of pasta, give a hug, give a little jacket that you don't use to someone who needs it.
Giving little by little
Giving has become a way of life for Serato.
Born in 1956 in Laon, in northern France, he fondly recalls his bucolic childhood with six brothers and sisters.
His parents were agricultural workers, and though they were poor and he often wore hand-me-downs, Serato says he never lacked for anything.
"I ate spaghetti with marinara sauce every day because it didn't cost anything, and I never went hungry!"
He says people love to help others, but often don't know how to get started.
"Start low-key, don't start with a big deal. I mean, I didn't start with 5,000 pasta (meals). Start very low-key," he said.
Sometimes it’s absolutely imperative to go and have yourself checked out. It doesn’t matter if you do not exhibit symptoms of anything. Even if you feel 100 per cent well you should still have yourself checked out. Recently a British television journalist was diagnosed with colon cancer even though he felt absolutely fine and showed no sign or symptoms. The only reason it was discovered was because he went and had his annual physical.
The United Arab Emirates’ unflinching faith in the Prophet — who took the entire civilisational process under his wing and made it bow to God’s ways — set the ethical tone of the country. It couldn’t have gone wrong. And it didn’t.
Children are the most vulnerable in our society. They are impressionable and will believe anything people tell them. They are enticed by colours, sounds, tastes and even by the way something smells.
It’s sad, the food crises in Somalia. The arid nature of the region coupled with draught makes the lives of the inhabitants a literal living hell. Humanitarian aid cannot reach fast enough and to the most deserving. While some humans in some parts of the world are actively engaged in raping the environment
The arepa's surge on the world stage comes as its consumption steadily declines back home amid a punishing financial crisis worse than the U.S. Great Depression, leading an estimated 4 million people to flee.
Mattress retailing in the region has embraced technology to offer tech-savvy customers the experience of shopping from home. Whisper has become the pioneer in the mattress-in-a box business model in the UAE.
For the first time, Lebanon’s capital Beirut hosted a Red bull cliff diving contest with professional divers participating from different countries.