10 December 2008

You Can't Find Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Last weekend, when my family and some friends visited the New York Botanical Garden to see the Holiday Train Show, the tickets also gained us entrance to something called the Gingerbread Adventure. In my mind I pictured a wonderful of gingerbread architecture: houses, bridges and tunnels one could wander about, with actors dressed as gingerbread people cavorting at every turn.

But upon entering the Everett Children's Adventure Center—the location of said Gingerbread Adventure—there was not a speck of nutmeg-scented dough to be found. Just the usual educational displays that are there year-round. Only after reaching the visitor center was anything related to holiday baking located, and that a plastic playhouse made to look as if it were made of gingerbread. I began to think that was it, and suspected false advertising of the rankest kind.

But there was more. Not much more. But more. Inside the center was a small room dedicated to elaborate gingerbread houses, commissioned from bakers in the New York area. The above barn was by Liv and Kaye Hansen of Riviera Bakehouse in Ardsley, NY.
The very basic, boxy house below was courtesy of James Evalgelos of, ahem, Whole Foods Market, which, I imagine, was trying to curry some local favor by participating in this display.

The whimsical kitchen below, complete with appliances and miniature baked goods, was the work of Jill Adams of The Cake Studio in Brooklyn.

Also of Brooklyn was MarkJoseph cakes, whose Mark and Leslie Randazzo made this nifty firehouse. Like the tiled roof and icing icicles.

But getting all the oohs and aahs from the crowd was this grand ballroom. The gingerbread dancers inside spin around on a turntable. Nothing works an audience like a turntable. The ballroom came from the room's most famous presenter, Balthazar Bakery. Pastry chef Mark Tasker did the work.

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