By Abby Hancock
Channel 2 News
9:13 PM AKST, November 25, 2012
Every holiday season, pastry chef Joe Hickel carefully assembles the most intricate details of a gingerbread masterpiece, an edible village that attracts a lot of attention at the Hotel Captain Cook.
"The most obvious question is 'how long does it take?' and 'when did you start it?', said Hickel. "It's a lot of labor, its about 130 hours to put it up here."
Hickel begins the project in the fall and gradually, the winter wonderland grows. After 34 years of building the miniature village, Hickel knows the importance of working gingerly. This year's holiday tradition is different and has more detail. Every house has a name and its own custom scene.
"This one's really a lot of fun to do. A lot more challenging but still a lot of fun," said Hickel.
Besides a lot of labor, the project takes hundreds of pounds of sugar. Chocolate trees and icing as snow, make up the sweet wintry scene. It is called Marina's Village, named after Hickel's first daughter.
"It's going real smooth, looks like I'm ahead of the game by a day or two," he said on Saturday.
Hickel expects the village to be complete by next weekend.
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