Gingerbread Construction Season is Underway

Gingerbread houses are a quintessential component of the holiday season. Whether you're making your own or just gawking at glamorous displays in hotels, there's something so festive and jovial about a house made of cookies, especially ones where witches won't threaten to cook you. If you're itching to indulge in a little ginger fun this season, look no further than this fresh batch of cookie construction: 

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Gingerbread village a la Whoville

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile: It's not every hotel lobby that looks like a gingerbread wonderland a la Dr. Seuss' imagination. But then again, the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is not your ordinary hotel. Executive chef Randy Reed and his dexterous culinary team have put together an illustrious gingerbread village modeled after Dr. Seuss' Whoville in the hotel lobby. The public is welcome to swing by the hotel to marvel at the creation, which is sure to warm the hearts of even the Grinchiest of visitors. 


Fearless Food Kitchen: The Peterson Garden Project has been teaching urbanites how to grow their own food for years throughout various city gardens. Now the organization has taken it a step further with their Fearless Food Kitchen in Edgewater, a facility designed to teach people how to cook their food as well. It's the next logical rung in the food process, done through a series of ongoing cooking classes. One of the can't-miss lessons this year focuses on gingerbread houses. On December 20, Fearless Food Kitchen hosts a class dubbed "Raised With Love," a hands-on homemade gingerbread house tutorial perfect for those intimidated by at-home ginger construction. For $55 per person, attendees get to design, bake, and decorate their own gingerbread houses under the helpful direction of Josephine McEntee. Each person gets to make a house for themselves as well as another one to give as a gift. Register for the event here

South Water Kitchen: It's a veritable gingerbread Mecca at South Water Kitchen, where chef Roger Waysok has not only crafted a Hotel Monaco Gingerbread House for the adjacent hotel lobby, but he's serving build-your-own gingerbread men for dessert and hosting a build-your-own gingerbread house class this month. Designed for kids ages six and older, the next class takes place December 20 at 3:00 p.m. It runs for an hour and a half and features pre-constructed gingerbread houses along with snowmen and trees for kids to decorate as they please with icing, peppermints, gumdrops, sprinkles, and other candies. Classes cost $20 for Hotel Monaco guests and $25 for the public. RSVP by calling 312-236-9300. 

Sweet Cakes Bakery: Another gingerbread class on the horizon takes place at Wicker Park's adorable Sweet Cakes Bakery. Under the tutelage of gingerbread pros, kids are welcome to compile their dream gingerbread houses by arranging handmade gingerbread pieces, icing them, and decorating them with candies and other sweet accents. The event is designed for kids ages five to 12 and runs from noon until 1:00 p.m. on December 22. 

- Matt Kirouac