Cookies and hot chocolate are fun Christmas treats. But students in Restaurant 1 and Restaurant 2 classes have the added pleasure of creating their own tasty masterpieces as they work together to build gingerbread houses for the annual class competition.
Many students like senior Ivan Perez look forward to making the gingerbread houses and enjoy working with their friends. It’s a good way to learn new skills while still being joyful for the holiday season.
“It’s fun because you get to work with your friends and get to choose your partners,” Perez said. “You get to spend more time with the people you enjoy.”
The first place winner was “Christmas at the In-laws” created by seniors Megan Freeman, Valeria Renteria and Jazmine Torres. The second place winner was “Snowy Valley” created by seniors Pedro Armenta, Cristina Olvera and Jennifer Salgado won second place with their creation “Snowy Valley.” Juniors Cyrus Burton, Alexis Cabrera and Ben Silva won third place for “Spooky Christmas” which used candy corn to decorate their door steps.
Planning the houses starts in September. Students get into teams of three and create a winter-themed template. After their plans are approved by the instructor, students start baking the pieces; nothing can be bought from premade houses or kits. Then, students have to make their own dough and icing in class. Everything in the house must be edible. The house cannot be bigger than 13 by 19 inches.
Junior Kacey Kimoto said her group worked during class and even during Thanksgiving break.
“We rebaked some pieces just in case,” Kimoto said. “We did all the royal icing and assembling it together.”
The students struggled mostly with keeping the houses together.
“The pieces kept falling and breaking and we would have to redo it all over again,” Perez said.
Senior Cristina Olvera said the competition is her favorite Restaurant 2 event.
“That’s the fun part, decorating our house and then trying to find the perfect balance between the composition, having the decorations but at the same time having other props,” Olvera said. “You can’t have like a string or a certain wooden sticks that can help build off the structure. It has to be all edible which is kind of frustrating at times but at the same time it’s kind of fun finding another way around.”
To see the top three winners, click the gallery below.