Please note-Cardamom Bakery has closed but watch for Joanne’s bakery items at Matteo  3015 Juniper St,  San Diego.

Time for the holidays with food and decor.  One of our favorites is the elaborate Holiday Chocolate Display at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad.  It has become a traditional event for us and this year’s “Santa’s Workshop Emporium” is incredible. To create this masterpiece, Executive Pastry Chef Christophe Rull brought together a few teammates from their championship winning teams of the Food Networks Halloween Wars and Holiday Wars. Ingredients used were 200 lbs of Sao Tome 65% chocolate, 75 lbs of sugar, 50 lbs of modeling chocolate and 50 lbs of rice treats. And endless hours of sculpturing and finishing each detail until it was completed. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t pinch the elves ears!


A gingerbread house says the holidays in a fun way. And this one at The Rancho Bernardo Inn is a house with a lot of activity happening inside. This year’s theme is ice cream and scoops of ice cream are hanging around the house and on the snowy ground. Baking begins in October and it takes many days by the pastry team and engineering to put the house in place. Pastry Chef Christina was very happy how whimsical the gingerbread house evolved and it’s for all to enjoy in the lobby. Go take a peek and also look for decorated trees on the property.

Stollen bread gets a tasty bit of a makeover at Cardamom Cafe and Bakery in North Park. The bread is a traditional German Christmas bread, and owner/baker Joanne Sherif soaked fruit in brandy and rum. Then she stuffed the house made croissants with the fruit and almond cream and created her version of this tradition. They are cutely named croisstollen!

The holidays are sweet in many ways.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and Spa Carlsbad, Ca  www. 760.448.1234

Rancho Bernardo Inn 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr, San Diego, Ca

Cardamom Cafe and Bakery  2977 Upas St San Diego, Ca