Christina Allen-Flores has perfected sugar, spice and everything nice. Next month, the executive pastry chef at Royal Sonesta Boston will host two sweet culinary events: A cookie decorating class on Dec. 2 and a cupcake decorating class on Dec. 16. And her delectable gifts keep coming with the annual gingerbread display in the Sonesta lobby. Allen-Flores and her team have conjured up another original design for the 2017 display, no kits required. In addition to this year’s gingerbread castle, complete with a Sonesta village below it, she’ll lend her expertise to the annual Cambridge City Hall display—a tradition that first began when the mayor stumbled upon Allen-Flores’ talents at the Sonesta years ago. “He saw it in the lobby and said, ‘We would love to have that for our annual holiday party.’ We’ve been making it for him ever since,” says Allen-Flores.
Each display uses about 250 pounds of royal icing, 150 pounds of candy and 125 pounds of gingerbread, all made in-house. “Everyone chips in—even chefs from the ArtBar and people working at the front desk,” Allen-Flores says. After three weeks of preparation, the magical exhibit is ready to be presented to the public—this year it was Nov. 24. Santa follows soon after, carving time out of his busy schedule to join guests for a breakfast and lunch buffet on Dec. 10. / Hannah McKennett
Royal Sonesta Boston, 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge. sonesta.com