Westin St. Francis Holiday Sugar Castle Display
Visitors and guests will delight in holiday merriment on Wednesday, November 23 at 11 a.m. when The Westin St. Francis unveils not just one, but two handcrafted castles created by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré and his team in the celebrated Landmark Lobby. The public is encouraged to attend and will enjoy complimentary coffee and tray-passed cookies.
Back by popular demand and in celebration of hotel tradition is the stunning Sugar Castle, originally created in 2005. Resembling a French Chateau inspired by Chef Houdre’s travels, this life-like magical castle features grand circular towers, individual rooms, and colorful illuminated windows. The castle is set in a medieval French village complete with intricately constructed homes, a church, a bakery and stores, all with illuminated windows and surrounded by holiday sugar cakes.
Adding a touch of modernity, the 12-feet tall St. Francis Enchanted Castle features a rotating winter wonderland of elaborate gift boxes, gingerbread trees and even more brilliantly colored candies this year. Elves can be spotted climbing all the way up to a towering castle.
“The Westin St. Francis combines the best of tradition and modernity so we wanted to showcase that in the holiday display by reintroducing the original Sugar Castle alongside The St. Francis Enchanted Castle,” said Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré. “Our guests will now have the best of both worlds.”
On both castles, each item is intricately handcrafted using the practiced techniques of sugar art including pulling, blowing, shaping and molding, each taking years to perfect. Countless hours and hundreds of pounds of sugar have been used to create these works of art, which are comprised of sugar, royal icing, fondant and pastillage.
Chef Houdré learned the refined art of pastry by working in his family’s bakery where everything was created from scratch. Born in the Southwest region of France into the family business of boulanger-pâtissier, he was inspired to become a pâtissier by his father who taught him not only the technique but also a true love for the craft.
335 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102