Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago announced Caroline Kolaja has been appointed executive pastry chef. In this role, Kolaja oversees the dessert and pastry program at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago including banquets and catering, in-room dining, and the hotel’s restaurant Filini Bar & Restaurant.
Kolaja’s passion for sweets began when she was 15 years old scooping ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. She knew then she wanted to be the creative mind behind making desserts. Kolaja received a Baking & Pastry Diploma from The Art Institute of California—San Diego where she honed her pastry arts skills.
“I knew at a young age that I wanted a career that challenged me creatively, fueled my passion for art, and incorporated my wanderlust for travel,” says Kolaja. “I’m thrilled to be at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago to share my passion and love for pastry arts with guests.”
After graduating from The Art Institute of California San Diego, Kolaja worked at several fine dining establishments in San Diego, which allowed her to gain knowledge in a variety of cuisines including French, Peruvian, Asian, and Mediterranean. Before joining Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, Kolaja was most recently executive pastry chef at Epic Restaurant in Chicago.
“We are thrilled to have Caroline’s creativity and artistry at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago,” adds Christopher Strawbridge, food and beverage director, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago. “In addition to her creations being breathtakingly beautiful, she creates modern and refined dishes that invoke and inspire the pallet.”
Kolaja enjoys studying philosophy, practicing yoga, and still indulges in her favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor—cake batter.
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