The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville announced Nov. 23 that Alana Armenti of Simpsonville and Parker Webster of Greenville won top prizes in the 29th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition.
Webster’s “Zoom with Santa” won first prize in the Child category for kids between the ages of 5 and 8 while Armenti’s “Winter Wonder Wheel” won third place in the Youth category for children between the ages of 9 and 12.
In addition to the Child and Youth categories, contestants 18 and older competed in the Adult category while participants between 13 and 17 years old entered the Teen category.
The other 2021 winning entries included:
- First Place – The Merry Mischief Bakers of Phoenix, Arizona, “Christmas ‘Round the World”
- Second Place – Grier Rubeling of Cary, North Carolina, “Gingerbread Nutcrackers”
- Third Place – Bill and Cheryl Filion of Medina, Ohio, “A Spin on Christmas”
- First Place – Courtland High German Program of Spotsylvania, Virginia, “Elves After Hours”
- Second Place – Emma Rhinehart of Columbia, Tennessee, “Santa’s Study”
- Third Place – Abigail Woerner of Concord, North Carolina, “Holly Jolly Christmas”
- First Place – Lolajay Wilson of Asheville, North Carolina, “Picture Perfect Holiday”
- Second Place – Emmalyn Frost of Knoxville, Tennessee, “Upside Christmas”
- Second Place – Glitter Girls of Blue Ridge, Georgia, “Santa & Friends Christmas Pets”
- Third Place – BMP Smart Cookies of Black Mountain, North Carolina, “December 26th”
All houses had to be completely edible and made up of 75% gingerbread.
Each entry was reviewed by a panel of judges including:
- Celebrity chef, author and TV personality Carla Hall
- Nadine Orenstein, curator of the department of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Cheryl Forberg, James Beard Award-winning chef and dietitian
- Mark Seaman, the culinary applications chef for Barry Callebaut
- Geoff Blount, chef, program chair of baking and pastry arts at ICI of Myrtle Beach
- The Omni Grove Park Inn executive pastry chef John Cook
- Pastry chef, author and teacher Steven Stellingwerf
- Aaron Morgan, executive pastry chef at the Stable Café on The Biltmore Estate
- Nicholas Lodge, the author of over one dozen sugar art books and instructional DVDs
All gingerbread creations will be on display at the Asheville hotel through Jan. 2, 2022.