The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC has opened registration for The 31st National Gingerbread House Competition, the nation’s largest. The official rules and entry form have now been released on the hotel’s website, 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.