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Dean Pierose – Owner

“Our crab cakes are the finest in the state of Utah and perhaps the best I have tasted anywhere in the world…”

Originally from Boise, Idaho, owner Dean Pierose realized his true passion for the restaurant industry when he moved to Utah in 1991. With a background in hospitality administration and management and a sincere love of wine, it was only natural that he purchased Cucina in 2001. Under Dean’s tutelage, the much-loved Avenues gem has evolved into the highly-rated and highly-awarded Cucina Wine Bar. Speaking of wine, through thoughtful research and travel, Dean is a self-created wine aficionado which is easily reflected in the expansive wine list Cucina Wine Bar offers. His building a world-class wine list was certainly based on Dean’s philosophy of being extensive, but not pretentious. As a person, Dean is also known for his constant humor, love of fishing, and appreciation of food. Speaking of food, his favorite Cucina Wine Bar menu item is the famous crab cakes.

Chef Joey Ferran – Executive Chef

"Good food can be the catalyst for unforgettable connections."

A Salt Lake County native, Joey cultivated his passion for the restaurant kitchen over a decade at the prestigious Log Haven. Working under various chefs and exploring the woods nearby he learned traditional techniques and discovered local ingredients. His cuisine draws both from the American southwest and varied global ingredients to create bold and innovative flavor combinations. Chef Joey's relationships with local growers, foragers, and importers provides the restaurant with copious seasonal ingredients, allowing the dinner menu to evolve as the seasons change.

The heart of Chef Joey’s menu goes beyond the need for food. It generates emotion and entices the diner to be entreated and inspired. What we eat and what we share brings us together.

Since joining Cucina in 2016 Joey has earned the following awards:

  • 2017 City Weekly - Top Rising Chef
  • 2018 Salt Lake Magazine - Best Restaurant
  • 2019 Salt Lake Magazine - Best Restaurant
  • 2021 Salt Lake Magazine - Blue Plate Award

Erika England – General Manager

"It’s impossible to pick a favorite but I'll never say 'no' to anything with ahi tuna in it."

Erika has worked at Cucina for 5 years, shifting careers from office management. She started her own catering company before coming to Cucina, so she brings a lot of food industry knowledge as well as business knowledge.

Utah is home to her, and she enjoys all the outdoor activities that it has to offer, like going to the lake on her days off, hiking, and camping. You may even see her on one of her many long walks through the avenues; one of her favorite past times.

While Erika loves Cucina for the people she works with, as well as the incredible customers, she loves trying all the delicious dishes.