On
Newsstands
Now
Current Issue
Johnson & Wales students, all baking and pastry arts majors, competed in the Gingerbread Takeover from December 6–8. Final judging took place on Thursday in the lobby of the Sheraton Downtown Denver hotel. Photos by Sarah Boyum

Works of Art, Hand-Crafted from Gingerbread

Johnson & Wales students create iconic Denver landmarks out of gingerbread in a friendly holiday competition. 

By |

During Denver’s first substantial snow fall, six Johnson & Wales University students were tucked away in the kitchen at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel hard at work on their creations—made entirely out of gingerbread. As part of the first annual Gingerbread Takeover competition, contestants were asked to craft one of Denver’s iconic buildings and landmarks solely out of gingerbread, icing, and candy decor.

Over the course of three days—December 6–8, from 1–3 p.m.—contestants worked with the Sheraton’s chef Scott Skomal, pastry chef James Kanavy, and the rest of the culinary team. They created a design, baked the gingerbread, constructed their structures, and topped it of with finishing touches of candy.

Advertisement

Judging began at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon in the Sheraton hotel lobby, where all the gingerbread creations were unveiled to the public. Judges included Skomal, Kanavy, Sheraton’s sous chef Nick Gunnerson, Marriott executive chef Jean-Pierre Marechal, and Johnson & Wales’ dean of culinary education, Jorge de la Torre. The final works were judged based on the contestant’s execution of design, cleanliness, use of time, and professionalism. The first-place prize of a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Stephanie Gaines who recreated the Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower on the 16th Street Mall. Mackenzie Parker took 2nd place, with a prize of a pastry toolkit, with her sweet rendition of Mile High Stadium.

All the gingerbread buildings be on display as part of a larger exhibit in the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel lobby through December 31.

Recommended for You

Newsletter Signup

Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone. Sign Up