Owner & Executive Chef
Born and raised in Mequon, Wisconsin, Frank Pullara grew up in the kitchen cooking comforting, delicious Italian meals and learning generations-old, authentic recipes from his grandparents and great-grandparents. Those early memories with family stayed with Pullara throughout his career and now, after over two decades of experience, have shaped his first solo restaurant endeavour.
Pullara kicked off his path to a professional kitchen by studying the culinary arts through the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) apprenticeship program. In Milwaukee, he worked his way up through the program from sous chef to executive chef before moving to Naples, Florida to work at the acclaimed Campagna Hospitality Group (Osteria Tulia, Bar Tulia, The French), which also awarded him the opportunity to cook at the James Beard House under chef Vincenzo Betulia in 2016.
In early 2020, Pullara moved just outside of Nashville, Tennessee to start the latest chapter of his career: opening his very own restaurant, Culaccino, in neighboring downtown Franklin, Tennessee. Named after the Italian word for the “lasting impression” a cold glass leaves on a wooden table, Culaccino is the embodiment of how food can bring people together to create a long-lasting mark or memory that will stay with guests forever, just as cooking with his family left a life-long mark on him.
When he’s not serving up classics like scratchmade pastas and woodfired pizzas in the kitchen at Culaccino, Pullara spends his time exploring Tennessee’s different parks, hosting cookouts with friends and soaking up quality family time with his wife, Ashley, and five-year-old twins Mia and Niccolo.