A holiday favorite will be showcased in November, when the annual National Gingerbread House Competition takes place at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Talented gingerbread artists are encouraged to enter the competition and begin designing their gingerbread structures for the chance to win 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.
Houses can vary from traditional frames with piped icing details to over-the-top structures with magical realism elements and take hundreds of hours to complete. Contenders of all ages will submit their visions and push the limits of edible art with ingredients such as ice cream cones, jelly, flower petals, crispy rice, and more.
Among the judges who will examine the one-of-a-kind creations on Monday, November 18 are: Carla Hall, renowned celebrity chef, author and former television personality; Nadine Orenstein, curator of the department of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Cheryl Forberg, James Beard Award-winning chef and nutritionist; Mark Seaman, the master sugar artist for Barry Callebaut; and head judge Nicholas Lodge, the author of over one dozen sugar art books and instructional DVDs.
The winners will be announced following a judges’ deliberation where each house is scored for the adult, teen, youth, and child categories. The designs will then be on display beginning Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 and lasting through Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at The Omni Grove Park Inn. The resort will continue its tradition of donating half of all parking proceeds raised throughout the contest to eight local not-for-profit organizations. Since 2013, over $430,000 has been contributed to organizations throughout Western North Carolina.
Complete rules and a downloadable entry form can be found here. See some of the top gingerbread houses from last year’s competition in this slideshow.