A Mississippi pastry chef constructed a MASSIVE gingerbread house featuring 350 pounds of sugar and icing
A collaborative effort by the bakery, culinary and facilities teams at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg have constructed a gingerbread village that is a must see.
Standing nearly six feet tall, the architectural confection took more than 100 hours to design.
The brain behind the design was pastry chef Nelson Gonzalez.
“I just created it out of my mind,” Gonzalez said.
Chef Cokima Nelson said Gonzalez creates a gingerbread house every year, but this has been his most elaborate.
“He said this year he wanted to do something crazy and make the gingerbread house grand, so when people come in it will stand out,” Nelson said.
Nelson said Gonzalez began drawing out ideas for the house and then got with his team to discuss developing those ideas.
“And the next thing you knew, it just blew up,” Nelson said.
The gingerbread house was constructed using 320 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of royal icing and more than 100 pieces of candy, and it showcases a snowy winter themed landscape.
Nelson described Gonzalez as a mad scientist while he constructed the gingerbread house.
“He baked so much gingerbread, I think he must have been seeing gingerbread in his sleep,” Nelson said, adding that Gonzalez was very particular about the design and would make the gingerbread into an assortment of squares that were then used as brick for the outer structure.
“There are 600 to 700 gingerbread cookies for the roof,” Gonzales said.
In addition to the gingerbread house that is seamed together with icing, that was hand piped, snowmen in the holiday scene were constructed out of rice crispy cereal then rolled in icing and covered with fondant.
Miniature Christmas trees, which sit on the more than 46 square foot creation, are made with ice cream cones, icing and peppermint candy.
Gonzales said there was not one thing about the gingerbread house that was his favorite.
“I am proud of everything,” he said, adding that all of his creations are made from his passion.
“I love what I do,” Gonzales said.
To preserve the gingerbread structure, Nelson said a polyurethane coating was used.
The gingerbread house is located on the 3rd floor of the casino right outside of Bourbon’s Steakhouse and Heritage Buffet and will be on display until New Year’s Eve, Nelson said.
“I hope everybody comes and sees the house,” Gonzales said.
And for those interested in a taste of the culinary confection, gingerbread cookies made from the same recipe as the house are available for sale at the casino’s deli, “And they are showcased on the buffet,” Nelson said.
(Originally published by The Vicksburg Post)