Texas de Brazil
Mr. Caregnato’s knowledge of restaurants, and more specifically the churrasco style of cooking, began as a teenager. He began working as grill master at the “Churrascaria Caregnato,” owned by his grandfather in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
By his early twenties, Mr. Caregnato had moved beyond his experience as a grill master, and into the role of restaurant and catering entrepreneur. This venture known as Erganutri Refeicoes, located in Caxias do Sul, Brazil is still in operation today.
After gaining such fundamental firsthand knowledge, Mr. Caregnato decided to continue his education, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil, as well as certification from the culinary institute Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu Perugia in Umbria, Italy.
In 1997, the founding partners of Texas de Brazil, Salah Izzedin, CEO, and Salim Asrawi, COO, were visiting Brazil and stumbled upon Caregnato’s restaurant. They developed a love for the concept and an appreciation for Caregnato’s skill as an original gaucho. The trio hit it off and within days a business plan was presented. They requested his assistance to open an authentic Churrascaria in Dallas, and made a promise to bring the Gaucho tradition to the states without interfering with the preparation and the serving of the Churrasco tradition.
In 1998, the first Texas de Brazil opened its doors in the Dallas suburb of Addison, and since then, 15 other locations have opened in the U.S., as well as one international location in Aruba. Caregnato visits each property regularly to ensure the “authentic” Churrasco customs of Brazil are being practiced. Through it all, Izzedin and Asrawi have made good on their promise and, with the help of Caregnato, future growth includes 7 new locations in 2010 and 2011.