The Museum of the City of New York invited top bakeries and amateur bakers from across the city to enter Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off —our first-ever holiday celebration of the communities in each of the five boroughs. Select bakers created a gingerbread display to represent their respective neighborhoods, inspired by the theme “Winter in New York.” A cohort of prominent New York City-based bakers, curators, and restaurant owners judged the final designs. Judges named an overall winner and awarded prizes in a variety of categories, such as: Best Borough (Most Representative, Sweetest, Good Enough to Eat, Grandest, and more.
Sherry Kozlowski, Astoria, Queens
WINNER — ‘Best Overall’
Sherry is an amateur baker that enjoys building and creating edible art. She has traveled the country competing in baking and food competitions, including the PPG Gingerbread contest in Pittsburgh, PA and the World Food Championship in Orange Beach, AL. Sherry has also appeared on Food Network’s Bakers vs. Fakers (2017) and The Christmas Cookie Challenge (2018).
For this challenge, Sherry decided to represent her neighborhood block by featuring some of her favorite shops in Astoria. Her display of apartments and store fronts are all built in gingerbread with details made from fondant, gum paste, isomalt, and candies.
Sans Bakery, Long Island City, Queens
WINNER — ‘Good Enough to Eat’
After years working in fashion, Erica Fair, founder and owner of Sans Bakery, was tired of the long, grueling hours and started baking in her spare time to harness her creative spirit. “After converting cherished family recipes into gluten-free confections, Sans Bakery was born!” Sans Bakery’s display is a holiday gingerbread scene inspired by the iconic 7 train running through Long Island City, Queens. “The 7 train is the backbone of our transit lives through Queens. Our gingerbread creation celebrates iconic and undeniably elements of Queens’ unique skyline, while being playful about the scale of things we perceive in the urban landscape.”
Bruno’s Bakery, Dongan Hills, Staten Island
WINNER — ‘Best Borough (Most Representative)‘
WINNER — ‘Devil’s in the Details (most intricate)‘
Bruno’s Bakery is a family-owned bakery that has been in business for over 40 years. Run by the Settepani family, they “enjoy creating classics and like a good challenge when it comes to designing a specialty cake for our clients.”
Bruno’s Bakery takes you on a gingerbread journey through Staten Island, known as the “Borough of Parks.” Celebrating the beauty of the Island, the display includes important icons like the Staten Island Ferry.
Egidio Pastry Shop, Belmont, Bronx
WINNER — ‘Sweetest’
Egidio Pastry Shop opened in 1912 and ever since has been on East 187th near Arthur Avenue. The recipes of original owner and founder Don Pasquale Egidio, a Southern Italian immigrant, are still in use today.
Maria Carmela Lucciola, current owner of Egidio Pastry Shop, decided to build a classic gingerbread house following the Italian tradition for the holiday season. “Jingle in Ginger! our gingerbread house, is Christmas themed.”
John Kuehn, Lower East Side, Manhattan
WINNER — ‘Grandest’
John Kuehn was a professional architect and architectural designer before he decided to act on his passion for baking and cooking during the pandemic. “I decided to pursue a new career in the food blogging and food media industry. Both architecture and baking take into account structure, design, and aesthetic to complete a beautiful end product. Either as an architect or a cook, I’m obsessed with understanding the culture and history around both.” John’s display is a gingerbread recreation of Madison Square Park, nearby his home. His creation celebrates some of New York City’s most iconic and historic skyscrapers, including the Flat Iron Building and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in a holiday wintertime setting.
Ida Kreutzer, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
WINNER — ‘Only in New York’
Ida is a professional photographer and designer from Austria who first came to New York in 2016. Since a very early age, Ida has been baking and creating “intricately decorated cookies, sourdough breads, and birthday cakes for friends.” She notes, “I love to nurture and feed people, and baked goods tend to just do that, with a happy side of sugar high.” Ida replicated the building where she lived when she first arrived in Fort Greene for her display. Her gingerbread creation, a classic Brooklyn brownstone, includes an imitation of a public artwork by the contemporary artist Swoon, which was once on view in the building.
L’Appartement 4F, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
WINNER — ‘Most Resilient’
Gautier and Ashley began L’Appartement 4F Bakery in their Cobble Hill apartment, where they live with their dog Chip. When they aren’t baking their signature mix of French staples—with an American touch—they enjoy “visiting local farmers’ markets, hiking, and drinking wine.”
About their entry: L’Appartement 4F knew that what best represents their neighborhood was the iconic brownstone structure. Their gingerbread creation incorporates unique details from their bakery, including their popular mini croissant cereal as décor for the interior.
Bobbie Lloyd, CEO and Chief Baking Officer, Magnolia Bakery
Jonah Nigh, Semi-finalist, NBC/Peacock’s Baking It (Season 1); Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement, The New School
Nadine Orenstein, Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Judge, National Gingerbread House Competition in Asheville, NC
Colette Peters, Cake decorating author and teacher; Owner, Colette’s Cakes
Amy Scherber, Owner and Founder, Amy’s Bread; Member, Bread Bakers Guild of America
Melba Wilson, Owner of Melba’s Restaurant; Author, Melba’s American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your Kitchen (2016)
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