Bakers Journal

Stellar Gingerbread Houses

November 30, 2016
By Bakers Journal

Gingerbread masters (l-r): Chef Sue Flemming (organizer); Laura Palmieri; Xi Zhu Zhang; Jia Wang; Yu Hui Ling (front); Heather Davidson; and Chef Laura Bryan (organizer). Photo: Bakers Journal

George Brown College’s chef school held its annual gingerbread house competition on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with 23 entries vying for prizes.

For the sixth year Dufflet Rosenberg, owner of Dufflet Pastries in Toronto, judged the competition along with returning judge Joe Bogden, manager of the George Brown College book store, and first timers Kristen Kolynchuk with Wiley publishing, faculty member Chef Julie Philip and Bakers Journal editor Doug Picklyk.

Judged on originality, technical skill and building integrity, both Rosenberg and Bogden were very impressed with this year’s creations overall.

In the end, the top prize went to the team of Heather Davidson and Desiree Fintelman for their intricate Bake Shop. Their three-walled structure allowed a clear view to the inside of the shop where the students replicated miniature details including a cash register, debit machine, baguettes, bagels, buns and even art on the walls. The duo spent over two weeks on the project, working non-stop in the final days putting together the finishing touches on the miniature bakery items.


Yu Hui Ling claimed second place with a well-structured house and beautiful flower garden.

Xi Zhu Zhang and Jia Wang took third place with their replica of Toronto’s old city hall and Nathan Phillips Square skating rink and Toronto sign.

The People’s Choice Award, voted on by students, faculty and guests, went to Laura Palmieri for her finely detailed Gingerbread Mansion.

For the first time, this year’s top winners received cash prizes, with first place taking home $500, second place $300 and third winning $200. The top three also received top pastry books from Wiley publishing and a piece of cookware. The People’s Choice award winner received an assortment of baking tools.

Event organizers Chef Sue Flemming and Chef Laura Bryan were very pleased with the level of participation this year and amazed at the skill level demonstrated by the students. 

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