|Johnny Carrabba was born to be a restraunteur. His family made preparing great meals and entertaining guests an integral part of their lives. As Johnny says, "food has always been a part of everything we do – that's just how we were raised."|
Johnny attended St. Thomas University in Houston. After college he went to work managing his uncle Tony's Blue Oyster Bar. In 1986, Johnny and his uncle Damian developed a plan for a new Italian restaurant. They opened the first Carrabba's in December of that year.
Their mission for Carrabba's was to offer guests fresh, high-quality Italian dishes in a warm, casual atmosphere. They wanted a real wood-burning pizza oven and open kitchen where guests could watch their meals being prepared to order. And most important, they wanted to share with guests the family dishes they grew up on.
High standards and a passion for flavorful food and warm hospitality are the ingredients that have made Carrabba's a national success.
Asked what he enjoys most about Carrabba's, Johnny says, "I love the preparation and excitement of it all. It's like throwing a party at your home every night." It's important to Johnny that his guests feel as if they are dining in the home of good friends. "You work hard to prepare a great meal and you can't wait to greet your guests and show them a great time." There are currently 120 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.
Johnny and Damian are also the hosts of the popular PBS cooking shows Cucina Amore, Cucina Sicilia and Cucina Toscana. Their companion cookbooks titled, Ciao Ya'll , Ciao Sicily and Ciao Tuscany are available at local bookstores.
Johnny and his wife Brandy live in Houston with their children Johnny and Mia Rose. Johnny is very involved in the Houston community and is currently on the board of The Sunshine Kids.
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