Daniel “Dano” Heinze is the Chef/Co-Owner of Vern’s, an upcoming American neighborhood bistro in downtown Charleston. After cooking in his hometown of Vero Beach, Florida, Dano decided to move to Miami to pursue a culinary degree at Johnson & Wales, where he simultaneously worked for James Beard Award-winner Norman Van Aken at Norman’s restaurant.
Upon graduating in 2007, he moved to Charleston to intentionally work for Sean Brock at McCrady’s where he earned the title of Chef de Cuisine during his nine years. His time spent at McCrady’s deeply immersed Dano into an environment focused on creativity, modern technique, and hyper-local sourcing. Moving out to Los Angeles in Fall of 2016, Dano continued his personal and professional evolution while working with esteemed restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Jon & Vinny’s, Animal, Son of a Gun). Dano quickly became the Culinary Development & Operations chef for Joint Venture Restaurant Group, building impressive large scale operations within their company.
California had deeply influenced Dano’s approach to cooking and brought incredible opportunities outside of the restaurant scope, but he felt a pull to return home to the South to begin his next chapter. The aspiration to pursue a path as an independent restaurateur built, and eventually Dano found the location for his first venture in downtown Charleston. Named after his late grandfather, Vern’s is the culmination of Dano’s culinary path translated into a mix of familiar and innovative dishes served in a neighborhood setting.