Meet the Family
Damian's mother (Johnny's grandmother) Grace was born in Alexandria, LA in 1916. She learned to cook from her mother, Rosa Testa and her mother-in-law, Margaret Mandola, both from Sicily.
Grace loved to cook. Every Sunday the family gathered at Grace's house for the family dinner. She would spend all day Saturday in the kitchen preparing her wonderful sauces for this special meal.
Grace worked at one of the Mandola family restaurants in Houston until she was in her mid-nineties. Her recipes have been handed down for generations and are served daily at Carrabba's.
Born in Sicily in the 1870's, Damian's grandparents Vincent and Margaret Mandola immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800's where they settled just outside Galveston, TX.
Grandma Mandola was a wonderful cook. She did everything the hard way. Damian to this day can still picture her with a scarf tied around her head as she worked in the kitchen. She always made her own pasta. She would take two sterilized broom handles and rest them between two chairs. That was where she hung her pasta to dry.
Johnny's great grandparents with his grandmother Mary (center) with her two sisters in Sicily in 1917. They immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900's where they settled in Bryan, TX.