The Omni Grove Park Inn Announces Opening of Enrollment for the 31st Annual National Gingerbread House Competition
This Year’s 2023 Competition Features New Judge, Celebrity Cake Artist Yolanda Gampp and Returning Specialty Awards
ASHEVILLE, NC (July 6, 2023) – Today, The Omni Grove Park Inn is thrilled to announce the registration opening for The 31st National Gingerbread House Competition™, the nation’s largest, hosted at the resort annually. The official rules and entry form have now been released on the hotel’s website www.OmniHotels.com/Gingerbread, including information on the competition, specialty awards, prizes, and more.
The competition, which celebrates over 30 years of ginger-innovation in baking, began with a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members in 1992 and has grown to become one of the nation's most competitive holiday events. Bakers of all ages and skill levels are invited to build whimsical cabins of candy, gumdrop-adorned castles and sugar-spun landscapes to compete for an opportunity to win a piece of more than $40,000 in cash and prizes, across the four age categories – Adult, Teen, Youth, and Child. Competitors travel from all over the country to participate in the enchantment of gingerbread, with entrants even coming from as far as Guatemala to showcase their gingerbread talent.
Returning for the 2023 season will be the Chef Nicholas Lodge Awards that were introduced for the first-time last season in honor of the late Chef Nicholas Lodge, with categories including Best Use of Sprinkles, Most Unique Ingredient, Longest Standing Competitor, Best Use of Color, Pop Culture Star, and Most Innovative Structure. Additionally, back by popular demand, the People’s Choice: Best in Show Award will be returning, allowing all registered competitors the opportunity to vote on their favorite piece of the entire competition.
The level of competition attracts the highest quality of design, artistry and pastry expertise across the country, and is complemented by a panel of judges representing nationally renowned food and media professionals. This year, the competition will introduce new judge, Yolanda Gampp, also known as the “Beyonce of Cakes,” a celebrity cake artist, judge on FOX’s Crime Scene Kitchen, two-time best-selling cookbook author, and a co-founder of “How To Cake It”, the #1 online baking education company in the world. The esteemed panel of returning competition judges include lead judge Mark Seaman, culinary applications chef for Barry Callebaut; Cheryl Forberg, James Beard Award-winning chef and dietitian; Geoff Blount, pastry chef and teacher; John Cook, executive pastry chef at The Omni Grove Park Inn; Steven Stellingwerf, pastry chef, author and teacher; Aaron Morgan, executive pastry chef at the Stable Café on The Biltmore Estate, and Ashleigh Shanti, chef/owner of Good Hot Fish & 2020 James Beard finalist.
“Gingerbread is a truly magical time here at The Omni Grove Park Inn,” said Isabel Miller, Senior Marketing and Events Manager. “From the competitors who have been competing for years to those participating for the first time to each visitor who comes from far and wide to experience the gingerbread cheer, the competition has become an iconic holiday tradition for all.”
The 31st Annual National Gingerbread House Competition™ registration is open now through November 13, 2023. The competition will be held on November 20, 2023, with an awards ceremony following in the Grand Ballroom. Judging is closed to the public. The awards ceremony is reserved for contestants and their families only. The official Gingerbread display at the hotel begins on November 27, 2023 and will continue through January 2, 2024.
As the holiday season is all about giving back, from October – December, The Omni Grove Park Inn donates a portion of its parking proceeds to the community in support of local nonprofit organizations in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the hotel has contributed more than $923,000 to these charitable partners.
For more information on The Omni Grove Park Inn or to make reservations, call (800) 438-5800 or visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park. For more information on The 31st Annual National Gingerbread House Competition™, call the Gingerbread Hotline at (800) 413-5778 or visit www.OmniHotels.com/Gingerbread.
About The Omni Grove Park Inn
Set in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind escape for modern day travelers. The award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913, showcases a wide range of Arts & Crafts furnishings from Stickley and Roycroft throughout guest areas, guest rooms and suites. Following the renovation of the Vanderbilt Wing in 2013, The Inn revealed the redesign of the historic Sammons Wing's 204 guestrooms in 2017. The world-class Spa is an experience like no other, with 43,000 square feet of subterranean space and an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The resort's historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course is considered among the top golf experiences in North Carolina, and the Sports Complex includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef driven menus in their four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Omni Grove Park Inn is well suited for meetings, weddings and events, with 26 meeting rooms and two ballrooms totaling over 58,000 square feet, including the Skyline Room and Mountain View Terrace. The Inn's newest event addition is the Seely Pavilion with 3,260 square feet of function space, exposed trusses, and six pairs of picturesque, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain range. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.
About Omni Hotels & Resorts:
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct hotels and resorts in the most popular leisure and business destinations across the United States, as well as in Canada. With 26 iconic golf courses, including multiple short courses, 25 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest® loyalty program. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative, to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families, and seniors in communities in which it operates. Through its partnership with Shared Hope International, Omni is dedicated to the education and training of its associates to help combat human trafficking. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA of America. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.