Thursday, October 28, 2010



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Beloved Holiday Competition Set for November 15 at
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (October 22, 2010) --- The deadline to enter the 18th annual National Gingerbread House Competition™ is just two weeks away. To be eligible for the competition, entry forms must be received by Monday November 8. Judging of the popular holiday event is set for Monday, November 15.

Contestants may deliver their gingerbread houses to The Grove Park Inn Grand Ballroom starting on Sunday, Nov. 14th, from 2 -8 p.m. and again on Monday, Nov. 15th, from 7-8:30 a.m. The judging begins on Nov. 15th, with the awards presented that day at 5 p.m.

Hundreds of entries are expected across four categories: Adult (18 years and older), Teen (13-17 years old), Youth (9-12 years old) and Child (5-8 years old). Entries are judged on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme. The National Gingerbread House Competition™ awards more than $12,000 in cash and prizes. The grand prize winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, plus a two night Club Floor stay at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, complete with dinner for two and breakfast daily at the historic hotel. All contestants will receive a personalized certificate.

New to the 2010 National Gingerbread House Competition™ will be a prize for the contestant who enters from the furthest geographical location from The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and Asheville N.C.

Top editors from Cooking with Paula Deen and Better Homes & Gardens have joined an elite panel of judges for the 18th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition. Cindy Cooper, the Editorial Director for Cooking With Paula Deen magazine and Erin Simpson Associate Food Editor for Better Homes & Gardens magazine will join ten other judges who were announced earlier this year.

Cindy Cooper draws on her creative vision and more than 31 years of experience in the publishing business to produce a magazine that reflects the down-home lifestyle and tastes of restaurateur and TV personality Paula Deen while presenting delectable recipes for Southern coastal dishes in Paula's signature style. An Alabama native, Cindy is a graduate of Auburn University, and is the editorial director of Cooking with Paula Deen. During her previous career within Southern Progress and Oxmoor House, Inc., she led creative teams in the publication of various books and magazines including Cooking Light, Southern Living, Weight Watchers, and Coastal Living.

Erin Simpson is a native of Des Moines, IA. She is Associate Food Editor for Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Ms. Simpson writes about food, develops recipes, and regularly works with celebrity chefs and authors, including most recently Scott Peacock, Tyler Florence, and Nigella Lawson to bring delicious recipes and cooking tips to more than 39 million readers. She has a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson and Wales University and was an apprentice to award-winning cookbook author Nathalie Dupree.

“The National Gingerbread House Competition at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa has gained a large following since it was launched in 1993. It’s a true holiday tradition and we are thrilled to add these prestigious new judges to an already great panel,” said Ronald E. Morin, Vice-President and Managing Director at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.

Returning judges for the 2010 National Gingerbread House Competition will be:

Gerry Hempel-Davis (Richmond, Va.): A judge at every National Gingerbread House Competition since its inception, Ms. Davis is the author of four books including her latest, “100,000 Miles: A Driving Diva’s Guide,” which chronicles her favorite resorts, spas, parks, diners, shops and roadside attractions. She was a lifestyle contributor for several years on NBC’s Today Show and part of the production team at CBS for the Ed Sullivan Show.

Nicholas Lodge (Norcross, Ga.): Chef Lodge is recognized worldwide as a top instructor in the sugar craft arts and the author of numerous books. He has taught sugar craft artists in 26 countries, including China, India and Fiji and he has judged numerous competitions around the globe. He has been a judge of the National Gingerbread House Competition since 2004.

Nadine Orenstein (New York, N.Y.): Curator of the Department of Drawings and Prints of The Metropolitan Museum of Art specializing in Dutch, Flemish and German art, Ms. Orenstein earned her Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of Fines Arts. She picked up an appreciation for excellent food during childhood from time spent in France. She brings her artistic eye and historical knowledge to the appreciation of gingerbread houses.

Colette Peters (New York, N.Y.): The owner of Colette’s Cakes, a specialty cake company in New York City, she has designed celebrity cakes for Whoopi Goldberg, Al Pacino, Sting, Bette Midler, Hilary Clinton, the Rolling Stones and Yoko Ono for her 75th birthday. She has written five best selling books on cake decorating and teaches the art worldwide. Modern Bride magazine named Ms. Peters as “Trend Setter of the Year,” while Pastry Art & Design magazine named her to its “Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America.”

Mark Seaman (Chicago, Ill.): Founder of Marked for Dessert, a boutique cake shop in Chicago, Mr. Seaman is recognized for his special occasion and wedding cake design. He received his professional training at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating, the International Sugar Art Collection School of Confectionary Art and the French Pastry School.

Steven Stellingwerf (Sioux Falls, S.D.): Mr. Stellingwerf has been involved with the sugar arts for more than 30 years. He travels throughout the U.S. and internationally teaching cake decorating, candy and gingerbread classes. In addition to judging competitions and conducting demonstrations, he has authored baking and sugar craft books, including “The Gingerbread Book.”

In addition to Cooper and Simpson, other new judges for the 2010 National Gingerbread House Competition are:

Carol Gable (Anderson, S.C.): Carol Gable has been a producer the last 15 years for the newsmagazine, “Dateline NBC”. In that capacity, she has covered Hurricane Katrina and many other top national and international stories. Gable is a 5 time national Emmy Award finalist and Emmy winner for breaking news as well as two-time National Headliner award winner and Edward R. Murrow award recipient in 2009 for coverage of Hurricane Gustav.

Michelle Pulliam (Tallahassee, Fl.): Food and Leisure Coordinator for Southern Hospitality Magazine—Traveler. Ms. Pulliam travels for Southern Hospitality Magazine, researching destinations, culinary delights and special places for the magazine to write about. Southern Hospitality Magazine—Traveler captures the experience, heritage and character of the Southeast U.S. The magazine covers destinations rich in distinction and has more than 22,000 readers.

Jane Robelot (Greenville, S.C.): Jane Robelot is a nationally acclaimed television news anchor and correspondent and the recent recipient of a Peabody award. The pinnacle of her professional life was anchoring for CBS News in New York City from 1995 through 1999. While she was with CBS News Jane won two National Emmy Awards for journalistic excellence, and an Emmy nomination. She covered some of the most important events of that time, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the death of Princess Diana, and the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba. Jane interviewed such newsmakers as President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodman Clinton, Evangelist Billy Graham as well as many actors and authors.

Denny Trantham, CEC (Canton, N.C): Denny Trantham is the Executive Chef for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. Trantham was raised in Haywood County, North Carolina. His southern Appalachian culinary skills are reflected today in the innovative and diverse cuisine that is offered throughout the resort. He also works closely with local farmers in order to provide the freshest ingredients, while also supporting the local economy. Chef Trantham attended Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC where he earned his Associate Degree in Applied Science of Culinary Arts and was awarded the Cordon Bleu award.

All of the entries will be on display at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa from Nov. 17 to Jan. 2. The public is invited to view the displays any Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Groups and bus charters are asked to call ahead for reservations.

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