Dean first discovered his love of cooking at a young age while cooking for a small bed and breakfast on Tybee Island near Savannah. He attended the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta to gain a formal culinary education. Soon 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 the restaurant as it gained national acclaim and quickly became one of the best restaurants in the Southeast. Dean assisted Hugh with his first cookbook “A New Turn in the South” and in the 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 fiancée Lydia Clopton. The restaurant was named among the South’s Best New Restaurants by Southern Living Magazine in 2016.