2018 Talent

Daniel Herget

Chef, Little Octopus

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Daniel Herget developed an interest in the culinary industry at an early age from cooking alongside his grandmother and watching countless hours of Great Chefs Great Cities on television. The University of Florida brought a diverse food landscape to his hometown, and Herget was exposed to a vast array of cuisines including Southern, German, Chinese, and Middle Eastern, ultimately helping him distinguish his palate and setting him on the path to his future career.

Herget attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Culinary Arts degree in 2008, and then Summa Cum Laude with a Pastry Arts degree in 2009. For the next five years, Herget cooked his way through the kitchens of some top Miami restaurants including Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, Oak Tavern, and La Goulue. While sharpening his skills inside the restaurant, he spent his time outside the kitchen traveling throughout the Caribbean to immerse himself in its cuisine. During these travels, Herget studied the myriad flavors and techniques of Caribbean food, driven by the region’s vibrant history of global influences.

Eventually Herget was ready for a change and toyed with the idea of opening a ramen shop in Gainesville, but decided to head to Nashville and stage under Chef Sarah Gavigan, who came highly recommended by ramen master Shige Nakamura of Sun Noodle. Like many who visit Nashville, Herget fell in love with the vibrancy of the city, and in the summer of 2014, he was hired as the chef of POP.
Now, Herget serves as chef of Little Octopus, a modern neighborhood restaurant serving fresh, clean, vibrant cuisine that pleases the palate of the strictest vegan to the most dedicated carnivore. After experiencing immense success in East Nashville, Little Octopus is re-opened in a new location the heart of Nashville’s The Gulch neighborhood. In the restaurant’s new locale, Hegret remains committed to feel-good food with local ingredients, but will offer an expanded menu centered on the rich history of Caribbean. Influenced by cuisines across the globe – from French and Spanish to Indian and Lebanese – Caribbean flavors inspire Hegret’s seasonally-driven menu, which features dishes like clams with shoestring potatoes, jerk spice, and sorrel, and curried goat shank with gnocchi, radish, and curry leaf.