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Leadership

Robert Giaimo 

SDDI President, CEO

Robert Giaimo

Robert Giaimo 

SDDI President, CEO

Giaimo has been a trailblazer in bridging the gap between tablecloth establishments and casual dining. In 1977 he introduced New American cuisine to Washington, DC with American Café, a combination restaurant-gourmet market offering freshly prepared, high-quality, innovative food at reasonable prices.

As Giaimo started his own family, he saw that same need for fresh and creative family cuisine in the suburbs. He called up his Executive Chef from American Café, Von Hengst, to join him in creating a new multi-generation gathering place, serving a broad range of customers ’round the clock. In 1989, they opened the first Silver Diner in Rockville, Maryland and over the last 25 years Giaimo has transformed the traditional diner by introducing local sourcing, antibiotic-free meats, and an extensive selection of Flexitarian choices.

Silver Diner has won national recognition and numerous awards as a leader in bringing Farm to Table healthy options to everyday dining.

Today, Giaimo and Von Hengst returned to their urban roots to combine the best of American Café and Silver Diner into one restaurant: Silver.

Ype Von Hengst 

SDDI Executive Chef, COO

Ype Von Hengst

Ype Von Hengst 

SDDI Executive Chef, COO

Von Hengst has always had a passion for food. Born in the Netherlands, Von Hengst discovered his passion while cooking for his family at the age of seven. His time spent in the garden and in the kitchen has led to a lifelong career of cooking. After high school he pursued a chef apprenticeship in Germany and then completed his studies at the Hotel Restaurant School in Holland.

Prior to co-founding Silver Diner, Ype served as executive chef for the Washington, D.C. Metro Area American Cafes. Ype also worked as a partner and general manager for Dominique’s on Pennsylvania Avenue, Stouffer’s Hotels, Hilton Hotels and Radisson Hotels. He served as executive chef and corporate chef for Restaurant Associates at Rockefeller Center in New York City, where he oversaw a dozen premier New York restaurants and is credited with the development of the restaurant’s highly successful original menu.

All the recipes and menus at Silver are created by Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst. With over 40 years of culinary experience in Europe and the United States, Chef Ype is known for creating flavorful, yet simple dishes using the freshest ingredients available.