Years of Participation
Daniel ‘Dano’ Heinze is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Vern’s, a modern American bistro located in downtown Charleston, SC. After spending most of his adolescent years cooking in his hometown of Vero Beach, FL, Dano decided to pursue the culinary field full time and earned a degree from Johnson & Wales in Miami, FL. During his time in school, he gained valuable hands-on experience by working under James Beard Award-winning Chef Norman Van Aken at his namesake restaurant, Norman’s, in Coral Gables, FL. Following graduation, Dano relocated to Charleston, SC to join Chef Sean Brock’s team at the formerly renowned McCrady’s restaurant, where he worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine. During his nine years at McCrady’s, Dano immersed himself in an environment focused on creativity, modern technique, and hyper-local sourcing. In 2016, Dano felt the desire to experience a new side of the industry and headed to the West Coast with his wife and now business partner, Bethany Heinze. While living in Los Angeles, CA, Dano continued his personal and professional evolution working with esteemed restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Joint Venture Restaurant Group, who own Jon & Vinny's, Animal, and Son of a Gun. Dano later accepted the role of Culinary Development & Operations Chef for the restaurant group, where he was given the opportunity to build and lead impressive large-scale operations for the portfolio of restaurants. With new experiences under his belt, Dano knew it was time to return home to Charleston in 2022 to begin his next chapter:opening Vern’s alongside Bethany. Named in honor of his grandfather, guests at Vern’s will find the menu is a culmination of Dano’s culinary path translated into a mix of familiar and innovative modern American dishes served in a quaint neighborhood setting.