Gingerbread House Smackdown at VOICE Tonight

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Tonight's the night that the results of a gingerbread house baking and design contest orchestrated by VOICE Restaurant Executive Chef Michael Kramer will be revealed to the world.

In keeping with the season, Kramer challenged the city's best pastry chefs to put together the perfect gingerbread house - but one with a twist from the traditional offering.

He asked all of them to construct gingerbread dog houses. Proceeds from auctioning off these gingerbread houses will benefit Lucky Leash Rescue, Inc., a non-profit animal welfare group that provides rescue services, vet care, foster care and adoptive placement for needy dogs and cars. It does most of its rescue efforts with the City of Houston Animal Shelter a.k.a. BARC.

Pastry chefs who whipped up something special include VOICE pastry chef Charles Allen, Central Market's Rebecca Masson, The Houstonian's Catherine Rodriguez, The Four Seasons' Jason Morale and students from the Art Institute of Houston.

The dog houses will be on display at Hotel ICON's (220 Main Street) lobby from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today. A suggested donation of $25 will be collected at the door. And there's a Christmas giving tree standing nearby adorned with faces of dogs and a suggested donation on each tag.

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- Margaret Downing

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