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About Us

At Il Fornaio, our mission is to provide our guests with the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy.

Each Il Fornaio restaurant has been designed specifically for the communities we serve, so restaurant hours, menus & reservation sizes available may vary by location. We are open for lunch & dinner every day at almost all locations & large parties, private dining groups & special events are welcome at every Il Fornaio.

Using the freshest ingredients & traditional cooking techniques, each Il Fornaio offers a wide variety of premium-quality Italian food paired with an award-winning wine list & crafted cocktails in beautiful settings located in California, Las Vegas & Denver. All 20 kitchens are supervised & guided by Veneto native Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon using multi-generational family recipes & preparations that Italians have mastered over centuries of making great cuisine.

These ideals are best demonstrated by Festa Regionale, our monthly exploration of the food & wine of the 20 diverse regions of Italy. This passion for authenticity has been fostered for over 20 years. Learn more information about Festa Regionale by clicking here. Il Fornaio also operates two restaurants as Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, located in Newport Beach, CA & in the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The home office is located in Corte Madera, CA. Please feel free to send us your feedback.

Executive Chef, Maurizio Mazzon

Il Fornaio Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon knew he would be a chef from the age of eight. Mazzon was born in Marcon, Veneto, where he would cook shellfish he and his brother caught off Punta Sabbioni, a port in Venice. Mazzon comes from a family of bakers and went on to realize his dream by spending ten years working his way up through the various kitchens of Venice’s great hotels & restaurants. 

In 2014, Mazzon’s tireless pursuit of authentic Italian preparations and presentation resulted in Il Fornaio being awarded the coveted ‘Marchio Q,’ the ‘Mark of Italian Hospitality around the World,’ by the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Italy. Its goal is to create a worldwide network of Italian restaurants that respects the outstanding standards of Italian hospitality, developing and promoting the traditions of Italian agriculture and food products and enhancing the Italian food culture. 

As Executive Chef of Il Fornaio, Mazzon oversees menu development, new concept development and the company’s 20 kitchens. He also directs Festa Regionale, Il Fornaio’s ongoing exploration of the distinct cuisines of Italy’s 20 regions. It’s a challenging endeavor to coordinate menu changes each month at 20 restaurants, often with ingredients and wine unavailable elsewhere in the United States, but according to Mazzon, ‘La cucina del popolo e la sola esatta testimoniana della civilita,’ meaning ‘The only true sign of a civilization is its culinary heritage.’

Il Fornaio Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon's signature

Our History


1972 – Il Fornaio baking school established in Barlassina (Lombardia), Italy.

1975 – Il Fornaio first retail bakery in Milan, Italy.


1981 – First Il Fornaio retail bakeries open in the U.S. in San Francisco & Beverly Hills, CA.

1986 – Noted restaurateur Larry Mindel acquires Il Fornaio with partners Howard Lester, Warren Hellman & Scott Hedrick.

1987 – First full-service Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana restaurant opens in Corte Madera, CA.

1989 – Il Fornaio opens restaurants in San Francisco, Del Mar & Palo Alto, CA.


1991 – Il Fornaio Baking Book published by Chronicle Books.

1995 – Festa Regionale, a monthly celebration of the food & wine of a different region of Italy, begins.

1996 – Il Fornaio opens first restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and expands eastward to Denver, CO.

1998 – Il Fornaio opens in Walnut Creek, CA.

1999 – Il Fornaio opens Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, a restaurant focusing on the food & wine of the Veneto region of Italy, home to native Veneto Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon.


2002 – Il Fornaio Pasta Book published by Chronicle Books.

2005 – Awarded of Excellence for all restaurant locations.

2008 – 2nd Canaletto Ristorante Veneto opens in Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, CA.


2012 – Il Fornaio celebrates 40 years.

2014 – Il Fornaio awarded the ”Marchio Q”, or Marchio Ospitalita' – Ristoranti Italiani nel Mondo, the "Mark of Italian Hospitality around the World”– by the collective Chambers of Commerce of Italy, honoring a worldwide network of Italian restaurants that respects the standards of Italian hospitality, developing & promoting the traditions of the Italian agricultural & food products & enhancing the Italian food culture.

2015 – Il Fornaio opens in Woodland Hills, CA.

2016 – Il Fornaio opens in Santa Clara, CA.

2016 – Il Fornaio named in OpenTable’s top 100 list of Scenic Restaurants.

2019 – Il Fornaio receives the 2019 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, marking over 15 years of consecutive Award of Excellence nominations.