Dirk Koeppenkastrop and his wife, Nicole Lueker, combined their passion for science, Hawaii, and Italian gelato by creating Il Gelato Hawaii in 2010. Koeppenkastrop has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Hawaii, a corporate food background, and has studied the art of making gelato at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. He always dreamed of combining Hawaiian and Asian flavors with the traditional European gelato.
Dirk and Nicole pride themselves in using only natural and healthy ingredients to maximize the taste in their fresh, made-from-scratch gelato. They use raw ingredients from local farms and suppliers.
Their pineapples come from farms in Kunia on the island of Oahu, and the coffee, macadamia nuts, and guavas used in their ice cream come from the Big Island. For the ingredients that are not readily available locally, they reach out to farms around the world. They get their pistachios from Sicily, dark chocolate from Belgium, and hazelnuts from Piedmont in Italy.
At Il Gelato, you can try both sorbettos and gelatos. The various sorbetto flavors include Pineapple-Mint, Lilikoi, Hawaiian Sorbetto, and Pina-Colada. Some of the gelato flavors available are Tahitian Vanilla, Hawaiian Apple Banana, Cappuccino Caramel, and Italian Hazelnut.
By Jessica May Tang for PeterGreenberg.com