Two brothers opened the very first Fogo de Chão in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, decades before the now-familiar Brazilian steakhouse chain opened in the United States. The chain — not the first Brazilian restaurant to open Stateside, mind you — transformed the way Americans look at eating meat: without limits, and on a stick. Those are just a couple tentpoles of rodízio-style dining, in which diners pay a fixed price to have servers (or gaucho chefs) circle the dining room with a variety of cuts.
I’ve worked in a lot of restaurant settings, but this is something so different; it’s truly an art form. I donned the gaucho chef uniform in this episode of How to Make It and quickly realized that the big pants meant I’d be doing it all ,from preparing and butchering the meat to cooking and serving it tableside. The interaction and the experience the guests receive are beyond anything I’ve seen before.