Our Staff

Chef/Managing Partner – Dean Gold & Managing Partner – Kay Zimmerman

Dean’s love of food & cooking was sparked at a very young age when his mother, wanting to have a peaceful day at the LA County Museum of Art, left him at a kids’ cooking and art program across the street. Not only did Dean learn to make a pretty mean omelet, he cooked for all the kids who would rather do art than cook! He then cooked Julia Child et al’s The Art of French Cooking practically cover to cover.
Dean has long been interested in sustainability since his days at Whole Food’s Market as specialty foods & wine buyer, and then as a regional vice president of purchasing. This fits in perfectly with his lifelong interest in family-owned wines. Dean {and his wife & partner Kay} lost his sanity in 2005 and opened Dino in Cleveland Park. Dino closed in 2014 and Dino’s Grotto was born in June 2014.

Dean’s partner is his wife of over 25 years, Kay Zimmerman. In addition to their love of food, Kay & Dean are avid opera goers. They have seen over 60 live performances in Washington, Chicago & New York, as well as in Firenza {where they had dinner with Maestro Zubin Mheta and Tenor Carl Tanner} Roma & Verona. They love Broadway & local theater with a particular fondness for Sondheim. They are also art collectors with a small but growing collection of contemporary Italian art (mostly watercolors, oils & Murano glass) & Japanese American art.


Chef di Cucina – Jose Chicas

Since the first days of the Dino that is no more, Jose Chicas has been a part of the kitchen for over 12 years. He started on the fry station, the entry point for cooking. Then he moved to salad/cold prep, grill and finally in 2015, he earned the chance to be Chef di Cucina in charge of the day to day running of the kitchen. Dean and Jose work collaboratively on new recipes with Dean supplying the ideas and Jose the practical side: after all, we need to be able to produce what Dean dream’s up!


Beverage Director ~ Andrew Shapiro

 There is probably no one more passionate about Notre Dame football, the Washington Nationals, GInger Beer or making great cocktails in the DC area.  Andrew not only makes our house special cocktails, he also prepares our infused spirits and syrups that make our drink program one of the most seasonal and local in town.  Perhaps Andrew’s best creation is K & B Ginger Beer.  When you can buy it at Whole Amazon, we will be proud to say we knew him when!