Constructed of 165 pounds of royal icing, 228 chocolate bars and 112 pounds of candy, the gingerbread house is quite a sensation at the resort these days with visitors marveling at its edible grandeur, snapping photos — and even sneaking bites out of the construction.
Called “Sweet Holiday Entrance” the gingerbread house serves as a candy-coated entry into the hotel’s restaurant Navio where a gingerbread fireplace with stockings and a faux fire greet guests. Ribbon candy, rock candy, jaw breakers, candy canes, peppermints and M&Ms are just some of the many sugary ingredients used to construct the house.
Like the much larger gingerbread house in San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, it's all meant to be a festive spectacle to admire, not to eat, although some visitors young and old can’t seem to help themselves from nibbling, say hotel staff. The gingerbread house is bringing the kid out in everyone and after seeing the excitement from guests it’s definitely something “we plan to do again next year,” the hotel's PR director Kaitlin Crawford told Patch.
The idea to construct a life-size gingerbread house in Navio was a dream that Kris Mason — who works in the resort’s kitchen and has been a past winner and judge of the annual Gingerbread House Competition — has had for a long time after making many gingerbread houses for Navio over the years.
In year’s past the resort’s kitchen made a large replica of the hotel the first year the Ritz opened in 2001 and since then they’ve done smaller scale items made out of gingerbread such as a rocking horse, train and carousel.
So pastry chef Christian Brassfield met the challenge this year with excitement when he heard Mason’s idea of constructing a life-size gingerbread house.
A dream come true, it took Brassfield and a team of elves 268 hours to complete the house and hearth with 570 pounds of gingerbread.
“The most challenging part of putting the house together was the actual assembly of the house in front of Navio,” said Brassfield. “We had it in separate pieces and had to make it all come together with our frosting.”
“Sweet Holiday Entrance” will be on display through Sunday, Dec. 29, at Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay.