2018 Talent

Daniela Herrera

Pastry Chef, Counter 3. FIVE. VII

Texas-born but raised in Santa Monica, California and Juarez, Mexico, pastry chef Daniela Herrera returned to Texas just as the glass ceiling was shattering for the Austin food scene.

The few years Herrera spent in Juarez as a pre-teen had the greatest influence on her decision to become a pastry chef. “In Mexico, bakeries are a big thing. You go to the bakery all the time and your local shop owner becomes a part of your life. I loved the look of the beautiful pastries tucked away behind the glass. I always found it aesthetically pleasing. My main reason for entering the culinary world is based essentially on my love of art and simple beauty. I draw every day and sculpt when I can so I think of food, especially in the pastry realm, as edible masterpieces. Plus, I like to stuff my face!”

Upon gaining her degree from the Art Institute of Phoenix, Herrera went on to work for Nine-Ten in La Jolla then Box and Bells in Oakland. After a stint at Qui, Herrera joined the Counter 3. FIVE. VII team where she can be found humming or singing while whipping up delicious, simple recipes for the ever-changing prix-fixe menus. “I lean into the simplicity of sweets. I dislike dishes with too many flavors, everything becomes muddled and you lose the essence of what the dessert should be. My all-time favorite desserts really only have three main components and that is what I strive for with my dishes.”

When not working, Herrera enjoys drawing, good food, and great company.