Rodizio Grill is the first authentic Brazilian Steakhouse restaurant or Churrascaria in the United States. It was established in 1995 by Founder and President Ivan Utrera, a native Brazilian born in São Paulo. Rodizio Grill is an award-winning restaurant featured in national media, including USA Today, The Washington Post, CBS News, NBC News and others.
In the early 1900s, large groups of Europeans, including Germans, Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese, migrated to southern Brazil, chasing new dreams and seeking to take advantage of the abundant and fertile lands. They colonized a region in southern Brazil called "The Pampas," flat, fertile grasslands, ideal for cattle ranches. A tradition was soon born where gauchos, Brazilian cowboys, would dig large holes in the ground and light up fires for cooking their meats. These holes helped keep the fires burning and hot even when the plain winds were blowing hard, as they often do. Soon this cooking method, which yields the healthiest and tastiest meats, became the centerpiece of large gatherings of family and friends, turning these events into true feasts.
As population centers grew, restaurants started providing the same banquet style, high-quality, abundant meals. Over the years, these restaurants became the places where family and friends met often to celebrate special occasions, to enjoy a business lunch or just to spend some time together.
Rodizio Grill Founder and President Ivan Utrera grew up enjoying that traditional "churrasco" (barbeque) style of dining derived from southern Brazil: a parade of gauchos holding three-foot skewers of meat grilled over an open fire and carved tableside accompanied with a delicious salad bar featuring an abundance of authentic Brazilian salads and side dishes. Traditionally, the bold meal finishes off with authentic and homemade desserts.
Ivan's love of the traditional Brazilian "churrascaria" (steakhouse) coupled with the need for a traditional Brazilian steakhouse in the United States compelled Ivan to develop the Rodizio Grill concept in 1995.
Alongside his mother, Carmen, who taught culinary school in Brazil for several years, Ivan gathered cherished family recipes and developed several new ones to create what Rodizio Grill became, from the succulent rotisserie grilled meats and unique salads, to the exquisite and delicious homemade desserts. Rodizio Grill is not only known for being the first Brazilian steakhouse in the United States, but also known for its authentic and traditional recipes carefully handcrafted daily. Carminha, as she is lovingly called, comes to the United States every two years to check on her son's recipes execution and provides guidance. You'll find many Utrera family members working in various aspects at the restaurants; for the past 8 years, Aunt Marina has been baking desserts daily at the Salt Lake City, UT location, and ensures the treasured family desserts are baked with the utmost freshness and love, upholding the Utrera family name.
"As we developed Rodizio Grill, we strived to incorporate our heritage into our core values and vision. After serving several million customers and friends for over 17 years, our commitment to this vision is stronger than ever. As Ambassadors of Brazil, we welcome you to our home and invite you to celebrate with us the warmth, alegria, and abundance of Rodizio Grill's authentic Brazilian dining experience"- Ivan Utrera.
Today Rodizio Grill, the Brazilian Steakhouse restaurant, is a beloved and bustling restaurant that currently operates restaurants nationwide, with several units under development.