Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Vancouver

Each year, my husband and I like to wander through the festive Hyatt Regency Vancouver lobby to take in the Gingerbread Lane contest entries. This year we were blown away by the Vancouver Community College’s winning entry, “Waiting for Santa.” Creators of the Vancouver 125th birthday cake, this team spent the better part of three weeks building each and every part from edible material.

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Vancouver

The centerpiece is a child’s bedroom, including a fireplace, toy box, and (my personal favourite) a family of mice gathered around a piano. The youngest mouse holds a teddy bear in her left paw, while a whiskered maestro performs on a tiny marzipan piano. This shot is so dear to me that I’ve made it my iPhone wallpaper for the season.

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Vancouver

The creations were judged by local industry professionals and the scores reflect five judging categories: imagination, construction, decoration detail, difficulty and overall appearance.

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Vancouver

This highly popular holiday attraction is on until December 27. Visit the Hyatt Regency on 655 Burrard Street to see this wonderful creation and the other 39 entries. Visitors can still cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award (also until December 27). Waiting for Santa will be moved after that time to the Downtown campus where it will be showcased through January.

Consider making a donation while you’re there to the Make a Wish Foundation.

According to VCC baking instructor and team leader Marlie van der Ven, “It’s nice to win,” adding “but for us, this whole event is about giving back to the community. That’s what Vancouver Community College is all about.”

For the curious, here’s the ingredient list for Waiting for Santa:
– 20 kilos of gingerbread house dough

– 15 kilos of gingerbread man dough

– 18 kilos of royal icing
7 kilos of marzipan
5 kilos of rolled fondant

– 4 kilos of Pastillage
16 kilos of rice crispy squares
4 1/2 kilos of chocolate modeling paste
4 1/2 kilos of chocolate couverture

Ooak Vancouver Sun gingerbread contest

I also had the chance to watch the VCC bakers together with chef Karen Barnaby as they competed in the Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House Competition at the One of a Kind Show. They were pitted against the Vancouver Sun editorial team. The competition continued on Sunday as well, with a silent auction at 3 pm to take home one of the masterpieces.

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