Foodie: Tyler Herald, Napolese Chef

The 32-year-old has attracted a passionate fan base—and jams out with small-acre farmers.

On any given Friday, the anticipatory crowd at Napolese contains a typical mix of foodie types: fit white-haired women in clogs, 30-somethings in hip-serious glasses, and balding bankers in button-downs. To Patachou Inc.’s 32-year-old executive chef, Tyler Herald, they’re not just diners seeking sustenance—they’re fans gathering before his live rock concert–esque performance. “You’re standing there, shaping the dough and cooking 200 pizzas, and everyone is watching,” says Herald. “I love the thrill and the rush.”
During his free time, Herald plays in the dirt with his friend Steve Spencer, who runs Homestead Growers in Sheridan. Herald plants, harvests, and even helps fill in at farmers markets around town. The two also do business together. Last summer, Herald was buying about 300 pounds of heirloom tomatoes from Homestead Growers every week—just for the original Napolese. “Spencer jokes we funded his daughter’s wedding,” says Herald, who also shares the love with farmers elsewhere. “In the summertime, I’ll get it to where the entire menu is local, other than the button mushrooms,” he says. Now, with the opening of a third Napolese location in The Fashion Mall (making 10 Patachou-owned spots in total), we hope this local-food trend continues.
(1) Gummy worms: It’s like Halloween year-round at my house.”
(2) Mud: “Squishing my toes in it … because it feels so good.”
(3) Swingsets: “I just love to swing!”
(4) Dinner-plate dahlias: “I ran across them in Oregon … the most amazing flowers.”


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the June 2013 issue.