The 26th annual National Gingerbread House Competition took place Monday, November 19 at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. The pre-holidays tradition invites talented gingerbread artists from coast-to-coast to showcase their intricate creations.

195 entries were received across all categories as culinary enthusiasts looked to win their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

Each entry is required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread. A panel of qualified judges including world-renowned pastry chefs, artists, and media experts evaluate the entries based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision, and consistency of theme.

Among the highly-regarded judges this year were Mark Seaman, the master sugar artist for Barry Callebaut; Nadine Orenstein, curator of the department of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nicholas Lodge, author of over one dozen sugar art books and instructional DVDs; and, celebrity chef and author Carla Hall.

This year’s Grand Prize Winners in the Adult category were Julie and Michael Andreacola of Indian Trail, North Carolina. Second place was Catherine Beddall of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and third place was Grier Rubeling of Cary, North Carolina.

In the spirit of the holidays, the Omni Grove Park Inn will be displaying all gingerbread designs from Sunday, November 25 through Thursday, January 4, 2019 to visitors on a complimentary basis. You can see all the winners in the adult, teen, youth, and child categories in our latest slideshow.