Gingerbread artists of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the U.S. and Canada met at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina on Monday, November 18 to showcase their one-of-a-kind creations. The 27th annual National Gingerbread House Competition received 226 entries across all categories as these skilled competitors looked to win $25,000 in cash and prizes.
Each entry was required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread. A panel of qualified judges evaluated the entries based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision, and consistency of theme. The 2019 panel included 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 were announced following a judges’ deliberation where each house was scored for the adult, teen, youth, and child categories. The designs will be on display beginning Wednesday, November 20, 2019 and lasting through Saturday, January 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.