Dean discovered his love of cooking at a young age while cooking at a small bed and breakfast on Tybee Island near Savannah. He went to the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta to gain a formal culinary education. Shortly after, Dean took the Sous Chef position at the newly opened 5&10 restaurant in Athens, GA owned by Chef Hugh Acheson.
During this time Dean played an integral role in all aspects of the restaurant as it gained national acclaim and quickly became one of the best restaurants in the Southeast. While maintaining his position at 5&10, he also earned his B.B.A in Marketing from Terry College of Business at UGA. Dean assisted Hugh with his first cookbook “A New Turn in the South” and in his opening of Empire State South in Atlanta. He was promoted to Executive Chef of 5&10 in 2011.
Dean left in 2013 to help Chef John Fleer open the highly acclaimed Rhubarb of Asheville, NC.
In 2015, he moved to Wilmington, NC to open PinPoint with longtime friend Jeff Duckworth and fiancee Lydia Clopton, pastry chef. The restaurant has quickly become an active and significant part of the local culinary community and hosts monthly Sunday Suppers to benefit charities and donates to a number of events and fundraisers. The restaurant was named Best Fine Dining Restaurant by Wilmington Magazine and The South’s Best New Restaurants by Southern Living in 2016.