October 17, 2008

A Haunted Gingerbread House

What happens when many creative minds come together? It's actually quite funny! Earlier this week I was invited to an event hosted by Executive Chef, a company that creates team building events inspired by their passion for great food.

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the Ferry Building in San Francisco on that sunny Monday with my lovely Production Lead Amanda. We were given name badges, a chef's hat, and a red apron and instructed to start at the wine tasting station to taste a variety of local wines.

Who can resist good wine on a beautiful day? We spent the first half hour enjoying hors d'oeurves and wine while meeting new friends and hanging out with old buddies in the industry. Soon after, we were asked to divide up into groups to compete--in a GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING CONTEST! The theme was to be 'HAUNTED HALLOWEEN'.

I grew up loving the Hansel and Gretel story, and have admired numerous gingerbread houses from hotel displays, restaurants, etc...but never had I built my own gingerbread house. This was indeed going to be a challenge!

Our team was led by the incredibly creative Sue Meylan of the Julia Morgan Ballroom, who showed us how to build the 'basic structure' of a gingerbread house. I am also quite proud to say that my brilliant assistant Amanda, who is an architect as well as planner, was just as intelligent and creative on this project! She dove right in, along with Sue, and used wafers as roof shingles and pretzel sticks and gummies as trees! Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Director of Events at Villa Montalvo, was in charge of the landscaping of the front yard and she did a superb job! I was into the smaller details, creating a worm with several green gummies and black food coloring and a rat that ended up looking more like a beetle. We had a ton of fun!!

In the end, Neil Adams of Blueprint Studios and the girls from the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco took the trophy home with their very haunted gingerbread house along with a graveyard! They did a fantastic job and totally deserved it!

If you're looking to host a party, such as bridal shower or bachelorette party, you should definitely consider Executive Chefs. They can custom-create a culinary adventure for you and your friends, and really make it a fun and unique experience. It's a very effective way for people to quickly bond with one another!

Here are a series of photos of our culinary adventure that afternoon!

This is a photo showing all our 'props' to build the gingerbread house!

Kathleen, Sue, and Amanda hard at work on our masterpiece!

Half way into the competition.....our house was starting to come together

Let me just say....building a gingerbread house is not an easy thing to do!

Okay, so it does look a little 'messy', but we were racing against the clock! I thought
the spider was a fabulous touch, which was from food coloring. Brilliant Amanda!

See my worm? And the rat with the red tail that looks like a beetle?

Viola! Our finished masterpiece, from both sides! Notice the antenna on the rooftop?

And here's the winning graveyard.....though weren't we suppose to build a house? :)


  1. Jubilee...that looks like a blast!
    Mark your calendar! I am having a fabulous event at the hotel and a winery on Dec 2!!!
    I hope you can come!


  2. Would you consider posting our Blogger Search Contest through your networks and/or sites?  We're looking for a unique storyteller to go over the edge in Bridal publishing!


    The reward is a $3000 destination engagement session with multimedia presentation by me!  You can grab the video code from the above page if you want to embed it in your blog or site.

    Yours in the image,

  3. Hi Jubilee,

    I just put up a post of the same event; it has a photo of our group, with the finished products! We do have some fun times, don't we! Here's to the next creative adventure! Jean