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This is what a 180-pound gingerbread Mission Inn looks like

By in Press Enterprise on December 26, 2017

By Ryan Hagen

This isn’t your kindergartner’s gingerbread house.

When the subject is a National Historic Landmark and the occasion is the 25th annual Festival of Lights, a gingerbread house — or a gingerbread Mission Inn — takes something extra.

Specifically, according to Mission Inn Executive Pastry Chef David Blaine, it takes 620 hours, 100 pounds of gingerbread, 50 pounds of royal icing, 30 pounds of fondant icing and 150 trees.

“It was extremely difficult to build the correct amount of windows and doors,” Blaine said by email. “It was a test ultimately because the building is so complicated and time-consuming to replicate. The amount of time it took to build the stencils, cut the gingerbread and decorate each piece to resemble the Mission Inn was the most challenging.”

The gingerbread inn will be displayed in the lobby until the last day of the Festival of Lights, Jan. 6.

Karen Belton, who works with Blaine on the museum’s culinary team, took the lead on construction, spending two months on the gingerbread model with help from four assistants, Blaine said.

They used an aerial photograph and blueprints of the hotel, combined with a week of counting windows, doors, walkways and towers, he said.

Belton built a large-scale gingerbread village in 2016 for the Mission Inn, but this is the first year they’ve built a replica of the building that houses the gingerbread.

The model features iconic features of the hotel including the Ho-O-Kan Room with the Amitabha Buddha and the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel with Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows.

Many of the details took extensive care, including Casey’s Cupcakes, The Mission Inn Museum, Kelly’s Spa, five restaurants and models of co-owners Kelly and Duane Roberts and the family of their daughter Casey Brown, Blaine said.

  • A large “Gingerbread Inn” is displayed in the front lobby of […]    

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