Tyla Jones Nattress - Wine & Service Maven
Born and raised on the East Coast, with centuries-long family ties to Maine and Massachusetts, Tyla now freely admits she prefers Dungeness Crab to Atlantic Lobster. Her career in restaurants began was she was a teenager, but she discovered fine dining service after completing college at the University of Vermont. It was there she met Tosha Norris, a restaurant manager from Napa Valley, who opened Tyla's eyes to fine dining service and to the world of wine.
Two years later, when Tosha decided to return to California, Tyla made the leap to switch coasts and head west. There, she met this friend of Tosha's named Vincent, but that's another story.
In the years that followed, Tyla worked in several fine-dining restaurants. She also drew upon her science background with stints working in the Lab at Robert Mondavi Winery as well as at Miner Family Winery and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. During her time in Napa, Tyla learned a great deal about wine, food and hospitality. She worked in the very demanding special events department for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, coordinating and executing events for their discerning clientele. She also worked with Vincent to build his catering business, doing everything from food preparation to event coordination and fine table service. She even took an excursion to New Zealand to work as a cellar rat at the pioneering Pinot Noir producer, Felton Road Winery.
Tyla & Vincent married in 2000, and the following year took a huge leap, opening a restaurant of their own, right in the heart of Napa Valley. Roux won many accolades, including selection as one of the San Francisco Chronicles Top Ten Restaurants of 2001. This was due in no small measure to the seamless service that Tyla inspired from her staff, and to the innovative wine list she created, which focused on small production “Tiny Wines” with case productions of less than 1000 cases. One of her great fortes is an understanding of how food and wines interact, and so wine pairing is child's play for Tyla.
After Roux closed in 2004, Tyla had her hands full for a few years with two young daughters. She worked for several months in 2007 as the chief recruiter for the reopening of The Restaurant at Meadowood, interviewing, evaluating and helping to train the opening staff there. Always being one to seek balance, she even followed a long time passion and natural talent as a teacher, becoming a certified Yoga instructor.
In 2009 she and her family left Napa in search of a place to call their own in the Pacific Northwest. In 2011, based on her desire to create a Food Hub, the Nattresses found their farm: a five-acre property on Bayview Road in Langley, Washington.