jen yee pastry


A Who-Ville Win


ABC Good Morning America invited me to participate in this year's gingerbread competition.  The premise: each of the four news anchors were to pair up with a New York pastry chef, and together build a gingerbread masterpiece based on the anchor's favorite Christmas movie.  My anchor was Ginger Zee, and her chosen movie was "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas". 
Her original vision was that of a whimsical and bright Who-Ville overshadowed by the menacing Grinch mountain.  I took the idea and ran with it as far as I could (with the few spare hours I had in between busy, pre-holiday services).  I was lucky enough to have the intermittent help of my three cooks along the way, and one of them even tagged along to the studio with me.
We tried a lot of things for the first time.  The mountain was made of a sticky melange of royal icing and Rice Crispies.  We then covered it in plastic wrap and foil to keep everything together, and to create a canvas for the patchwork of grey and black iced cookies and icicles.
I love how the Who-Ville houses turned out!  The first couple attempts had sharp a-line roofs that just didn't look "Who-y" enough.  We took them apart and shaved the facades down to round them out.  The curved roofs were shaped over a magnum wine bottle like tuiles.  Each house, as in the real Who-Ville, was decorated differently, although I love the repetition of the iced Twizzler chimneys!
Who-Ville would not have been complete without its signature arch, and the proud Christmas tree is there to greet you when you enter.
So did we win?  Yeah, we did!!  I believe what set us apart from the talented competition was our fun and playful use of color-rich candy, and allowing the gingerbread itself to take some of the limelight.