Padma Lakshmi Shares the Gingerbread House Decorating Hack That Took Her 'Years to Figure Out'

The Top Chef host doesn't play by the rules when it comes to food.

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If you’re one of many who has failed at constructing a gingerbread house, Padma Lakshmi has just the trick to help you succeed.

In an interview with Architectural Digest, the Top Chef star says this tip took her “years to figure out.”

“Most of the directions that come with the kit tell you to make the house with the icing and then decorate,” she said. “I’m telling you, you should not do that. Instead, get the different pieces—the sides, the roof, etc.—lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and decorate them first. Because what happens is once you glue it, everything slides.”

Lakshmi says it takes her and her daughter, Krishna, 8, several days to complete the process.

“We get every panel, draw it out on the pencil, lay it flat, let it dry, and then we come back the next day and add stuff to it because you can’t do it all at once,” she added. “It’s like an oil painting and needs time for the layers. I have no stake in this company, but I often felt like writing to them and being, like, you should really change the printed directions.”

But the technique doesn’t stop at constructing the base of the house. Lakshmi said they “get a little Martha Stewart” about decorating it.

“We’ll get a little paring knife and make little leaves out of green jujube candies. We get little red balls and make an apple tree,” she said. “You can actually use Rice Krispies to create hay, sand, or a pebble driveway.”

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Lakshmi is now on her 15th season as the host of Top Chef, which takes places in Kentucky and is currently airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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