Seeing Double: The Twin Sisters of Wildfire Schaumburg
Some say there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but not when these twins are on the line! In honor of Women’s History Month in March, we’d like you to meet Kelly and Katie O’Donnell, twin sisters who have gone from working together in retail stores and babysitting to becoming Wildfire Schaumburg interns (lovingly dubbed the “twinterns”), to currently being pastry staff members. Almost 8 years ago, Associate Partner Adam Rochman gave the twins the internship opportunity and they have been at the Schaumburg location ever since.
“I have always been a huge supporter of internship opportunities for hospitality students; it is how I started my career with Lettuce,” says Rochman.
After completing their internship, Kelly and Katie found their passion for baking. The two hardworking women both work pantry, open and prep. They grew up baking all the time with their Mom.
“All of the cooking classes in high school got us even more excited about pursuing baking as a career. Our high-school counselor recommended Elgin Community College because they had a program for Culinary & Pastry, which is the route we ended up going.” They ended up traveling to Austria and France for culinary exchange programs, which they say was an amazing experience that taught them many different techniques.
Their favorite thing to bake at home are Christmas cookies, hands down. “We make a ton of bite-sized versions. Our Grandma was Polish and has family recipes that we love, including toffee squares, criss-cross cookies and so many others. We’ve been helping make these for the holidays since we were little girls. Our banana-chocolate coffee cake is also a fan favorite!”
When it comes to Wildfire’s popular wine and beer dinners, their favorite dessert they have come up with would be the Salted Caramel Tart or the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, which were both a huge hit at the events. Since they aren’t huge chocolate fans, their favorite desserts on the Wildfire menu are the Key Lime Pie and Carrot Cake. Honestly, they enjoy making sweets more than they like eating them!
“Our most memorable Wildfire dessert would have to be the cake we came up with for Wildfire Schaumburg’s 10th anniversary,” says the twins. “We made a yellow cake with Italian raspberry buttercream and chocolate buttercream, then covered it in sprinkles. This cake solidified our love for pastry cooking.” The O’Donnell sisters want to continue honing their craft and baking for years to come. Simply sweet and delicious!