Executive Chef Walter Pisano
For Chef Walter Pisano, running an Italian restaurant seemed preordained. As the son of a New York restaurateur, the business runs in his blood; as part of an East Coast Italian family, the food is in his heart.
Chef Pisano is a longtime fixture on the Northwest restaurant scene, most notably for opening and operating Tulio Ristorante. Since its inception, Tulio has been a regular on restaurant awards lists, including Seattle's Best Italian Restaurant, Best Business Lunch and Best Kept Secret.
Chef Pisano's Background
Through traditional apprenticeships, Chef Pisano was trained in classical European cuisine before moving to Seattle in 1980 where he helped open The Hunt Club at the Sorrento Hotel. In 1984, Chef Pisano ventured on a culinary tour of Europe, immersing himself in Italian and French cuisines.
Appointments that followed included the Executive Chef at the popular Bravo Pagliacci, and the Sous Chef at Gerard Relais de Lyon restaurant in Bothell, where he met superstar Chef Jean-Louis Palladin. Pisano then became the first American to work as a Sous Chef at the prestigious Jean-Louis restaurant at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Opening Tulio Ristorante
In 1992, Chef Pisano returned to Seattle, and to his roots: Italian cuisine. He opened Tulio Ristorante, naming it for his father, John Tulio Pisano. Chef Pisano's father, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up in Brooklyn and worked in high-end restaurants and supper clubs in New York City. He became a regular fixture at his namesake restaurant until his death in 2001. To this day, his love of honest Italian food shines through in Chef Walter Pisano's Tulio menus.
A year after his father's death, Chef Pisano took a hiatus to help open another restaurant and traveled extensively to visit restaurants across the country and throughout Italy. To the delight of his fans, Chef Pisano returned to Tulio in 2004, invigorated and inspired.
Awards and Honors
Among his many honors, Pisano has participated in the American Harvest Workshop, an invitation-only culinary event limited to just five international chefs each year. This exclusive event, nearing its 25th year, celebrates American bounty through exploring the art of food and wine. Chef Pisano also regularly donates his talents to charitable causes, from soup kitchens to black-tie events.
Chef Pisano's heartfelt memories of food and family are reflected in his boldly flavored, sophisticated Italian cuisine, and Tulio Ristorante is proud to be his showcase.