Vanderleia “Dede” Mallman co-owns Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine with her husband, Evandro Caregnato. (Karen Chaney/Community Impact Journal)
Evandro Caregnato and Vanderleia “Dede” Mallman grew up in southern Brazil, near Argentina. When they started dating about 30 years ago, Mallman said they went to traditional Brazilian pizzerias every Friday night.
She said they modeled Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine after that familiar concept – a restaurant where gauchos, which is a South American term for cowboys, bring slice after slice of pizza to customers creating “a culinary experience rather than a regular meal”. Mallman explained that the experience is an ongoing five-course dining experience, with a fixed price of $24.50, starting with the lobster bisque, salad and meatballs before the gourmet pizza parade.
Reading the menu, created by Caregnato, the 18 pizza flavors reflect the couple’s passports. A sampling of the savory pizzas includes Turkish lamb, Mexican elote and classic pepperoni. The sweet pizzas also share an international flair with dulce de leche and Romeo and Juliet with Brazilian guava marmalade.
Mallman chooses the wines available at the restaurant and says they only serve his personal favorites. They also have a full bar that highlights a Caipirinha, the house specialty made with sugar cane rum.
The couple opened their first Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine in Southlake four years ago. A Dallas location followed, then Plano and Fort Worth locations opened in 2020 and an Austin location is set to debut in July.
Prior to this venture, the couple, married for 24 years, worked for Texas de Brazil for nearly two decades. Caregnato was the executive chef and wrote the book “Churrasco, Grilling the Brazilian Way”. Mallman said her favorite thing about co-owning this restaurant was talking to customers and employees.
“[Servers] become more elegant and refined over time,” she said. “Their energy changes, [and] their skills and confidence grow.
Mallman said that within five years they plan to have Delucca franchises in other states and countries.
Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine
8240 Preston Road, Ste. 100 Plano
Opening hours: Sun.-Thurs. 4.30pm-9pm, Fri.-Sat. 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.