Take a stroll this week through the student lounges by the Great Hall of Purdue Memorial Union and gaze at the gallery of edible edifices on display, constructed by teams of students and staff from campus dining courts and caterers. These candied citadels are entries in the 2014 Gingerbread Contest – see the gallery on the PMU Facebook page!
This year’s theme is “Tunes of Christmas,” and each gingerbread house was judged by a panel of Housing & Food Services administrators and voted on by students and staff. The panel is evaluating entries for appearance, creativity, detail, difficulty, adherence to the theme and student/staff participation. Fans could vote based on whatever criteria they choose, such as which house you’d most like to take a bite out of. Eating the entries on site is possible, but discouraged until everyone’s had a chance to see them.
The primary rules given to participating organizations (all five residential dining courts, the Athletic Dining Room, PMU Catering and the Central Production Kitchen (CPK)) are that (1) all components of the houses must be made of edible products, with exceptions for the base and any battery-operated devices (such as lights). Edible materials include candies, nuts, cereal, crackers, pasta, ice cream cones, pretzel sticks, gum, etc., and (2) that student workers most do a minimum of 50 percent of the design and construction.
The panel judged the gingerbread houses Dec. 10 and will award ribbons for first, second and third place. Earhart Dining Court is the defending champion and home to the traveling trophy. The judges’ first place winner will receive a bowling and pizza party at PMU and a $1,000 prize to be used in the dining operation. The people’s choice winner also receives a traveling trophy, with Hillenbrand Dining Court the reigning winner of the fan vote.
The winners will be announced Friday afternoon on Dec. 12.