After all the gingerbread has been baked and allowed to cool in the oven for about 45 minutes, according to executive chef Jean-Francios Houdre of the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, California, the next step in the process is to fit all the pieces together. Many of the gingerbread chefs, both amateurs and professionals alike, use sandpaper to hone the pieces so that they fit smoothly together, which improves the overall look of the structure.
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