Of all the sights and sounds and smells associated with the holidays, gingerbread must be one of the most loved and recognized: Gingerbread cookies, cakes, figures, houses…
Nothing quite conjures up Christmas quite as fast.
The Museum of the City of New York is treating visitors to not one, but a whole city of gingerbread splendor: A group of bakeries and amateur bakers from all five boroughs were invited to enter the Great Borough bake-off. Their task? To create a gingerbread display that represented their own neighborhoods, using the theme “Winter in New York” as inspiration. The result is “Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off.”
Prizes were awarded in categories including “Best Overall,” “Good Enough to Eat,” “Best Borough,” and “Sweetest.” The entries were judged by a panel that included New York City-based curators, bakers, and restaurant owners.
Who took the cake, as it were? “Best Overall” was awarded to Sherry Kozlowski, an amateur baker from Queens. Her winning creation showcases some of her favorite shops in Astoria, Queens; the apartments and store fronts are made of gingerbread with details created from candy, fondant, and other ingredients.
Which one was “Good Enough to Eat”? That honor went to Sans Bakery from Long Island City, Queens. Their entry was inspired by the 7-train running through Long island City, and displays elements from the Queens skyline.
In other categories, the Egidio Bakery in the Bronx offers “Jingle in Ginger,” a Christmas-themed gingerbread house that won the “Sweetest” honor; while the title of “Grandest” went to a gingerbread recreation of Madison Square Park and includes iconic buildings like the Flatiron Building and the Metropolitan Life insurance tower, all in a wintry holiday setting. It was submitted by John Kuehn, a baker from Manhattan’s Lower East Side. And “Only in New York” displays a classic Brooklyn (gingerbread) brownstone, created by Ida Kreutzer, and based on the building on Fort Greene where she lived when she first moved to New York; it even includes a teeny version of a public artwork that was once on view in the building.
The museum is also offering a series of programs inspired by the exhibit, including screenings of Elf, gingerbread decorating events, an interactive scavenger hunt for families, and more.
And the museum—not surprisingly—has a variety of holiday merchandise for sale in their shop (and on their official website). It includes several ornaments, such as a clearly gingerbread man who’s missing part of a leg—clearly the victim of someone else who just can’t resist gingerbread during the holidays.
Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off is on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York through January 8th, 2023!