Chef Ricky Webster, his culinary team and Hotel RL have something very special and magical planned for the upcoming holiday season. They will be turning their dream of a Life-sized, walk through Gingerbread house into reality. This magical, Life-sized house will make its debut on Friday, November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving. There will even be a ribbon cutting ceremony but the time has yet to be set so stay tuned for that.
During my recent visit with Chef Ricky at Hotel RL, we wandered back into the kitchen to meet Pastry Chef Megan Gaines who was hard at work making Gingerbread bricks just like one of Santa's elves. The kitchen was warm and had the sweet and spicy essence of gingerbread wafting throughout, in that moment I felt the magic and sentiment of the holidays.
With his pastry background, Chef Ricky has always had a passion for gingerbread and began to dream and scheme about the Life-sized Gingerbread house back in May and June. Once the design for the gingerbread house was settled upon, it was time to get started on making the gingerbread dough which began in September and the first bricks were baked in the beginning of October. Here are some fun facts about this Life-sized Gingerbread house that is slated to be 120-150 square feet. There will be 750 pounds of gingerbread used for the house alone, this doesn't include door frames, window boxes, etc. There will be 1,300 gingerbread bricks used on the exterior, they have baked a little over 500 bricks to date. For the interior there will be graham cracker wallpaper and sugar chandeliers. I know Chef Ricky and his team have more sweet (pun intended) details planned but you'll just have to come visit this magical house and see them for yourself.
When I asked Chef Ricky why both he and Hotel RL wanted to make this dream a reality here in Spokane this is what he had to say. "Spokane is a city full of passionate people and people who have a lot of heart and like to celebrate. This would be big for a major city like Seattle, San Francisco or LA. but why not here? We can use a project like this to bring people together. We can show that we are that place to come, that's fun, that's interesting and unique and we will get to see a great result at the end that is benefiting a local charity that is doing wonderful things 365 days out of the year."
The elevated area of the lobby where the cacoon hammocks currently are will be transformed into this magical house and official construction is set to begin on Friday, November 17th. It will be a busy and full marathon of a week for Chef Ricky and his team. If you are interested in volunteering during that week or any of the weeks leading up to that Friday you can reach out using the following email address: Ricky.Webster@RLHCO.com
In addition to the Life-sized Gingerbread house itself there will also be activities offered during select Saturdays and there will be sweets and treats available in the Gingerbread House shop which will be open Monday through Friday in the evenings and all day on the weekends. Check out the holiday themed sweets and treats line up: Coffee and Hot chocolate, Iced Gingerbread Cookies, Pecan Snowballs and Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies will be offered. There will also be life-sized Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread cut-outs for to get your picture taken with. To be taken to the Hotel RL page directly for all the important details click here.
Join Pastry Chef Megan Gaines from 1-3pm on select Saturdays during the holiday season and purchase a $5 Build-Your-Own Gingerbread Person then let your creative juices and imagination flow as you create your very own customized gingerbread person. There will also be Build-Your-Own Gingerbread House kits to take home available for $12. See schedule below for select Saturdays:
- November 25, 2017
- December 2, 2017
- December 9, 2017
- December 16, 2017
Is there anything that could make this Life-sized Gingerbread house any more amazing? Why yes, there actually is and it's one of my favorite parts of this dream becoming a reality in our very own city. Every Hotel RL throughout the nation partners with local charities through their Project Wake up Call program and our Spokane Hotel RL has partnered with Blessings Under the Bridge. "For the past ten years, Blessings Under The Bridge has been providing weekly events for the homeless population of Spokane every Wednesday night, under the freeway overpass at 4th & McClellan. Through their year-round events, they have allowed others to take part in the amazing blessings and have many success stories from reuniting the homeless with families to building relationships and bringing hope."
If you would like to know more about Project Wake Up Call and Blessings Under the Bridge, be sure to visit their websites. You may also visit Hotel RL and check out their Project Wake Up Call wall. As you enter the Hotel RL lobby, take an immediate right. It's a wall of stories and testimonies that will bless and touch your heart. Stories of lives that have been touched and changed because of their partnership between the Spokane Hotel RL and Blessings Under the Bridge. This wall will make you tear up so bring some tissue.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony of Friday, November 24th the Gingerbread house will be presented to Blessings Under the Bridge. Below are the ways that funds will be raised for Blessings Under the Bridge:
- Enjoy a holiday treat: $1 from each of the purchases of our house-made cookies, hot chocolate drinks, charity cocktails and dessert specials, for sale at the Coffee Bar and Gingerbread House, will be donated directly.
- Purchase a gingerbread person kit for $5 and enjoy putting it together in the lobby on select Saturdays between 1-3pm.
These last 3 images are used with permission from Chef Ricky and Hotel RL.