WILLIAMSBURG — Mark Florimonte, executive chef of Kingsmill Resort, began creating gingerbread houses 23 years ago for his daughter. Now, his holiday creations have become a tradition that can be seen by resort guests and members at the Kingsmill Resort Center.
It is obvious when speaking to Florimonte, the pride he takes in making and sharing his vision, “I started doing these to raise money for The March of Dimes because my daughter spent her first six months in a NICU. Then, everyone just fell in love with the [gingerbread houses], so I decided to keep going.”
This year the edible display, aptly named Sweet Ole’ Williamsburg, was created using 1,500 pounds of powdered sugar, 500 pounds of assorted candy, 150 pounds of gingerbread and 150 man hours to create.
The display, which the chef and his team begin building in October, is unveiled on the eve of Thanksgiving and remains up through the first week of January.
Using inspiration from landmarks from around Williamsburg, the 128-square-foot village includes a chocolate Ferris Wheel and a vintage 1962 model train once owned by Florimonte’s brother. Both pieces move, providing extra excitement to the scene.
Look closely, guests will also find a miniature Kingsmill Resort Center, the Lego-candy Zable Stadium, several cottage-style houses, a Mill and even Liberty Ice Pavilion tucked into the icing trees connected by rivers and walkways of peppermint, chocolate and colorful novelty candies.
“I call it a ton of work, because it is literally a ton when you add all the ingredients together,” chuckles Florimonte.
The display is located in the lobby at Kingmill Resort for residents and resort guests to view.