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October Luncheon

  • Maggiano's 2019 Post Oak Boulevard Houston, TX, 77056 United States (map)

Vanessa O’Donnell


For  Vanessa  O’Donnell,  pastry chef,  restaurateur and  native Texan, life  keeps getting sweeter.  

“I’ve  always had  a strong interest  in baking,” says the  native Texan who was born  in El Paso, raised in Sealy  and baked her first memorable dessert  when she was nine years old. “Dewberry  cobbler, made with dewberries picked fresh  from the fence,” she fondly recalls.

But  it wasn’t  until O’Donnell  experienced a real  sense of restaurant life,  in the pastry kitchen at Brennan’s  of Houston, that she discovered her true  calling. Recognizing her passion to pursue  “the sweet life,” O’Donnell enrolled in the Art  Institute of Houston’s Baking and Pastry program.  

Shortly  before graduating  in 2004, O’Donnell  began an internship at  the Houston Country Club.  There she continued to perfect  her pastry skills for three years.  It was her experience and success acquired  at HCC that provided O’Donnell the confidence   she needed to take a sweet leap of faith in creating  Ooh La La, a boutique dessert bakery located in Katy, TX.  

“For  a lot  of people,  launching a dessert  bakery at the age of  26 might be intimidating,”  says O’Donnell. “But coming from  a family of entrepreneurs, it was  the natural next step. I knew that  if I followed my passion, I would have  a good shot at success.”

Event Registration

Earlier Event: September 18
September Luncheon
Later Event: November 13
November Dinner