Domenico Maurici has been around food his whole life. He was a child when he started farming his family's land in the south of Italy. And as a teenager, he started working in hotels and restaurants, working almost every food-oriented job there is: server, bartender, cook, the guy who keeps knives sharp with other knives or with hubcaps. A degree from a culinary institute propelled Domenico into fine hotels and restaurants, and eventually he took to the seas by slicing and searing in a cruise ship kitchen. One day, the ship docked in Orange County, and Domenico enjoyed the area so much that he never left. In 1994, he opened Il Farro Restaurant, which was soon followed by Il Gelato Caffe. At Il Gelato, omelets and panini share a menu with pastries and the titular frozen treat. Domenico even differentiates gelato, with its dense flavor and lower fat content, from standard American ice cream in a website post.