Red Rock Resort’s holiday display isn’t the quintessential gingerbread house — icing icicles dripping from the eaves, tiny chocolates shingling the roof, candy-cane fencing marking off a sugary boundary. This massive gingerbread “house” not only evokes the resort’s sophisticated sleekness, it’s a nearly perfect reflection of it.
Jose “Lupe” Avila, the resort’s executive chef, said the property’s leadership asked him to create a gingerbread display and model it after Red Rock itself.
“It took a few days to figure out how we were going to execute it,” he said.
Avila and his staff reached out to the engineering department for construction assistance. Carpenters complied, with a wooden foundation 9 feet long and nearly 5 feet tall.
“We basically took that wooden structure and covered it with cake,” Avila said, as well as 160 pounds of chocolate, 80 pounds of modeling chocolate, 50 pounds of sugar, 40 pounds of rock candy, 40 pounds of Rice Krispies Treats, 60 pounds of fondant, two pounds of edible copper paint and a whole bunch of other stuff.
“There’s a large amount of candy and cake on there,” he said.
Avila said the gingerbread Red Rock truly was a group effort that involved more than 500 man-hours of work, including carpentry.
“And our cake decorators as well as our bake shop team did a phenomenal job with the vision,” he said. “They ran with it, and something amazing was created. Our two cake decorators — their creativity is uncanny, to be honest with you.”
The sweet resort rests on large wooden platform in the middle of the casino floor, where it will be on display into the new year.
“We’ve incorporated some of the features of the hotel,” Avila said. “The main entrance off Charleston, a replica of the pool, which is one of our jewels at Red Rock.”
There’s a Santa and sleigh on the roof, a forest of Christmas trees, model cars out front. The whole project is finished with an extreme amount of detail, with garlands with diminutive wreaths and tiny delicate snowflakes, several hotel and restaurant signs and palm trees and other lush landscaping elements for which the resort is known.
“We tried to put as much detail as we could into it,” Avila said. “That’s an amazing piece.”