2017 Talent

Daniel Herget

Executive Chef, Little Octopus

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Daniel Herget developed an early interest in the culinary industry cooking by his grandmother’s side, and watching countless hours of Great Chefs Great Cities on television. The University of Florida brought a diverse food landscape to the city, and Herget was exposed to a vast array of cuisines including Southern, German, Chinese, and Arabic, Middle Eastern, and Lebanese, 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 at Wynwood, he studied under Chef Miguel Aguilar and learned everything he could about global Latino flavors, which he quickly grew to love. “Latino cooking is vibrant and lends itself to exciting and interesting flavors. I try to bring this out in all my dishes,” says Herget.

Eventually Herget was ready for a change and toyed with the idea of opening a ramen shop in Gainesville, but decided instead to learn under the best and headed to Nashville to 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 executive chef of POP. In addition to serving as Gavigan’s right hand during ramen concept Otaku South’s year-long residency, Herget oversees all pop-up services, guest chef dinners, dinner parties, private events.

Now, Herget is at the helm as executive chef of Little Octopus, which opened in the POP space in June 2015. Herget describes the vegetable-driven menu as “fresh, vibrant, and clean— food you crave that you can also feel good about eating every day.”