With restaurant ownership in his DNA, as his parents had a restaurant in Ohio for 30-plus years before they moved to Naples, Richard D’Amico has found his way into the hearts of Naples residents through their appetites. D’Amico has helped define the Naples culinary scene with foodie go-to spots such as Campiello, Cafe Lurçat and D’Amico & Sons. His most recent endeavor, Masa in Mercato, is the culmination of a year’s worth of research on contemporary Mexican cuisine, including time spent in Mexico with famed chef Patricia Quintana. With Campiello competing with more than 30 other restaurants downtown, 12 of which are Italian, D’Amico has become accustomed to, and even thrives on, the industry’s competitiveness. He’s currently got his eye on possible locations for several other concepts he’s working on. D’Amico balances his business ventures with philanthropic initiatives, such as the building of the Garden of Hope and Courage, a sanctuary on the grounds of NCH Healthcare System’s downtown campus for cancer patients and their families. The project’s realization resulted from D’Amico delivering on a promise he made to his friend Bob Emfield, one of the founders of Tommy Bahama, and Emfield’s wife, Jan, who ultimately passed away from cancer. D’Amico found the location for the garden and negotiated an agreement that made Jan’s vision possible. “It’s a beautiful addition to the community and makes me smile every time I go there,” D’Amico says.