If you're part of the circle that admires pastry chefs — and who isn't — then you're already anticipating the annual holiday Chocolate Village display at the Four Seasons Las Colinas.
This elaborate demonstration of top pastry chef skills and holiday cheer has arrived in the hotel's lobby, with a cute theme incorporating miniature versions of the pastry staff members.
Four Seasons' award-winning executive pastry chef Randy Gehman has been dazzling guests and patrons with his chocolate renderings for the last 24 years. This annual display takes weeks of preparation and uses every pastry-chef trick in the book, from chocolate molding to fondant work to sugar sculptures.
Creating the display was a team effort led by Gehman and assistant pastry chef Hayoung Lesser. By the numbers, they used:
- 30 pounds of sugar
- 90 of chocolate
- 160 hours of labor
- 11 pastry "elves"
The 2013 scene is set on a chocolate stage. Members of the 11-person pastry team are individually replicated out of chocolate. The team is shown singing holiday carols as they hold song books, cakes and pastry tools such as a rolling pin, pastry bag and so on. One chocolate chef orchestrates the group as they sing, while he sits on an organ made of chocolate.
All are gathered near a sugar Christmas tree with chocolate presents in the background. Poinsettias, cakes and other pastry goodies, all fabricated from chocolate, set the backdrop. The Chocolate Village will be on display, behind a velvet rope, through December 31.