There’s Still Time to See the Giant Gingerbread House at the Fairmont; Photos

Well, two more days, to be exact. I wouldn’t even mention it except that it’s pretty spectacular, as edible housing goes. Over the Christmas break we took our three-year old daughter, who said she wanted to live there. I told her after the last few years, we’re not getting involved with any more real estate.

While my daughter took a tour inside, the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef Stephen Sullivan was standing in front, looking very comfortable working in the medium of gingerbread.

“The house is two times as big as last year’s,” he told me, effusing what real estate brokers like to call pride of ownership. Sullivan said he created the structure with Executive Chef JW Foster. He was in the process of making repairs because “the kids like to pull the candy off, and when they go up to the train area they kick the bottom part. The ginger bread gets a little damaged.”

Chef Sullivan said that after the wood frame was built, it took two weeks to complete the two-story house. “We wanted a house that looked like it belonged in San Francisco, so that’s why we chose a Victorian,” he said. Raw materials include 7,500 ginger bread bricks, 1,200 pounds of icing, and 750 pounds of candy. All headed for the compost bin come January 2nd.

Warning: All that sugar so close yet so far does not have a calming effect on your average three-year-old. If you go, you may want to bring a little consolation gingerbread for the kids, and sit down with a little consolation gingerbread and tonic, if you know what I mean, for yourself — later at the hotel bar.

Read more about the gingerbread house here. Photos below by Katie and Adele McCall. Those people you see? Gingerbread, yo.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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