Hilton Americas-Houston’s Chocolate Santa Display Weighs in at Over 1.5 Tons
Larger-than-life Chocolate Sculpture Sweetens Holidays
HOUSTON - Santa Claus is coming to town and he's sweeter than ever this year. Hilton Americas-Houston Pastry Chef Mahesh Weerasinghe has teamed up with returning Pastry Chef Glenna Artripe to create a holiday chocolate display that will turn visions of sugar plums into visions of chocolate!
Award-winning Chef Mahesh, trained by one of only 13 Certified Master Chefs® in the U.S., and renowned Chef Glenna, an award-winning culinary artist with specific expertise in chocolate sculpture, together have created a one-of-a-kind holiday confection that will have guests craving chocolate the moment they walk into the lobby of Hilton Americas-Houston. The larger-than-life chocolate Christmas display weighs in at over 1.5 tons.
Santa Claus along with his elves and reindeer are joined this year by a chocolate sleigh, Olaf, and the Grinch, plus a festive gingerbread village with 10 new buildings. This year's display will be even more impressive with the addition of full color to the chocolate pieces.
Entirely hand-sculpted from over 2,500 pounds of chocolate and chocolate dough - the equivalent of 2,160,000 chocolate chips and over 6 million calories - the oversized chocolate Santa in his chair is accompanied by his chocolate elves, reindeer pack, wagon full of toys and lamppost, all sitting atop a base of sculpted poured milk chocolate replicating weathered boards. The chocolate sleigh rides into Santa Land this year, bringing with it the addition of Olaf and the Grinch, in their full-color chocolate splendor. A gingerbread-bricked, frosting-mortared fireplace adds to the sugary scene, itself weighing in at 600 pounds and 1,094,400 calories. Also new this year, a gingerbread village adds 120 pounds and 219,000 calories to the display. An additional 75 pounds and 133,125 calories of sugar paste pastillage ornaments finish off the sweetness for a total of almost 3,300 pounds of chocolate and confections and 7,636,525 calories.
Drawing on training received under award-winning chocolatier Chef Rudy Wieder, Chef Mahesh sculpts the sweet creations using chocolate just as an artist would use clay. Chef Glenna has developed her creative culinary skills over 25 year of artistic pastry design, with her exquisite grand scale chocolate sculptures well known across the nation. By melting the chocolate, then letting it cool to a malleable consistency, they build the chocolate up on an armature, detailing it using artist's wood and clay carving tools.
Approximately 1,000 man-hours and four months of creative work and construction went into the making of this intricately carved and sculpted confectionary creation.
This delectable chocolate Christmas vignette, open to the public, is on display in the main lobby rotunda of Hilton Americas-Houston, located at 1600 Lamar Street, throughout the holidays.
Directly connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Hilton Americas-Houston contains the city's largest number of guestrooms, ballrooms, hotel meeting space, and the most technologically advanced services available under one roof. Conveniently situated between Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, this AAA Four Diamond rated hotel boasts 1,200 luxuriously appointed guestrooms, 91,500 square feet of flexible, technologically advanced meeting space, two restaurants, lobby bar, Starbucks and full service spa & health club.
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