Ormond Beach resident and Executive Chef Mark Pullin is serving hot meals all over the county in his new food truck.
Chef Mark Pullin isn’t afraid to admit that he likes to eat. His culinary skills began when he was 4 years old, and having to cook for himself while his mother worked. Back then, the menu was homemade macaroni and cheese with potato chips on top.
“I was extremely fat,” Pullin chuckled. “I started then, and I liked to eat so I kept going. I became an executive chef by the time I was 22.”
Pullin has opened 17 restaurants during his career so far, and has worked primarily in Ohio, Las Vegas and Ormond Beach. While living in Las Vegas for a year, Pullin studied under Chef Roy Yamaguchi and Chef Randy Oviot, and was able to cook for people like Kid Rock, Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Paris Hilton, the president’s secret service and Chris Angel. In 2011, he beat out 20 other competitors in the Taste of NFL, and was crowned culinary champion. He went on to cook for 3,000 people at that year’s Super Bowl.
“I’ve catered to over 55 different famous people,” he said. “I’ve gotten really lucky in Vegas and Ohio. I have no kids, I’m not married, cooking is my everything.”
During the three years he’s lived here, he’s open Blau Grill, Fusion 43 and 31 Supper Club.
“Basically all the number restaurants,” he joked.
Despite all his success, Pullin still had a yearning for more. He wanted a job focused mainly on the food, and less on the intense and time-consuming operations of running a restaurant.
“I just want people to enjoy themselves,” Pullin said. “I’ve been cooking $100 steaks for so long. My friends can’t afford it. I just want to be able to give back to people who want to enjoy good food, and not have to save up to go out to dinner. Someone who can come enjoy an $8 burger, and I don’t have to worry about someone writing me a bad review because the person sitting next to them was wearing shorts. It’s about the food.”
It was that frustration that led Pullin to start his own food truck business simply called The “Good Food” truck. Thanks to investments and faith from his friends like Diane Michael of Callan Group Communications, Pullin said he is able to fight one common misconception people have about food trucks.
“They think it’s all pre-made products,” he said. “There is no can opener here. I make everything — ketchup, mustard, hot sauce — from scratch. The only thing I don’t do is bake my own bread and make my own tortillas. I refuse to call myself a chef and buy pre-made stuff.”
As of now, Good Food sells “kicked-up American classics,” but eventually, Pullin wants to expand the business to be able to make any of the over 50 styles of food he can create. Eventually, he wants to franchise and help other people open up their own food trucks.
“Diane helped make my dream come true, and I want to do the same for other people,” he said. “We want to touch as many people in as many places possible. I’m very blessed to being doing what I’m doing.”
Three months after the start of the business, Pullin said the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Still, no matter how far they grow, he’ll never forget an important rule: it’s all about the food.
“How many memories do we have that it started it out with great people and great food? That’s all it takes. The rest is history.”