Our History

Rodizio Grill, America's First Brazilian Steakhouse™ was established in 1995 by Ivan Utrera. Born in São Paulo, this Brazilian native has created an award-winning restaurant featured in national media, including USA Today, The Washington Post, CBS and NBC News.

In hopes to take advantage of the abundant fertile lands, a large group of Europeans migrated to southern Brazil in the early 1900s. After colonizing The Pampas, fertile grasslands ideal for cattle ranches, a tradition was soon born. Gauchos, Brazilian cowboys, dug large holes enabling them to cook meats without the plain winds affecting their fires. This cooking method soon became the center of attention for large gatherings of family and friends.

Founder and President Ivan Utrera, grew up enjoying the traditional churrasco style of dining. His vision of the restaurant was derived from the history of the tradition. Gauchos would gather together and start a wood burning fire, once the fire turned into golden embers, large portions of prime meat were skewered and slowly cooked to perfection. Using conventional knives, which they wore on their belts, they sliced thin and succulent pieces of meat in succession onto each person's plate. The term "churrasco" is a Portuguese term referring to a thin cut of steak, which is true to our service.

Working alongside his mother, Carmen, a former culinary teacher in Brazil, Ivan gathered cherished family recipes while also developing his own. Today, these are the creations for which Rodizio Grill has become known. From mouthwatering rotisserie-grilled meats and unique salads, to exquisite homemade desserts Rodizio Grill stays true to authentic Brazilian cuisine. Carmen travels to the United States every two years to provide guidance on the execution of her son’s recipes. You can find many Utrera family members working in various aspects of the restaurant keeping the family tradition alive.