Students dazzle industry judges at annual gingerbread and mocktail competitions

Main Content

Main street buildings provided the inspiration for George Brown College’s annual Gingerbread House and Holiday Mocktail competitions at the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA).  

Madeleine Sooklal’s edible version of the Royal Alexandra Theatre on Toronto’s King Street (pictured), complete with tiny show posters and exterior and interior finishes, took home the top honour. The Baking and Pastry Arts Management student also won $2,000.

The top three students in CHCA’s 15th annual gingerbread house competition, held last month, won cash prizes, provided by Dawn Foods, and a Wiley baking book. Students’ work was judged by a panel of industry experts, including Colleen Cross, editor of Bakers Journal, Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries, Joanne Yolles, a former GBC pastry instructor and a judge on Food Network Canada’s Wall of Bakers, and Austin D'Souza of Dawn Foods. 

Cheung Ming Ngai won second prize and $1,000 for his Wong Tai Sin Temple and Thomas Villiger earned bronze and $500 for his tiny take on the Alberta Wheat Pool. Yolanda Buitrago Caicedo won the People’s Choice Award, which came with books and gift certificates, for her sweet vacation home. 

A gingerbread house replica of the Royal Alexandra Theatre, exterior view
Gingerbread replica of the Royal Alexandra Theatre

Main-street mocktail inspiration  

The theme of CHCA’s second-annual mocktail competition was My Mainstreet Yonge Street, which tasked students to shake or stir a beverage inspired by the hospitality business on the strip. The event was sponsored by foodservice equipment supplier Russell-Hendrix and $3,500 worth of cash prizes were awarded to the winning mixes. 

Soumini Agate, an Advanced Wine and Beverage Business Management student (mocktail pictured), tied with Culinary Management student Anabel Ochalefu for first place.  

Event Planning student Pari Keyvani took second place and Food and Beverage Management student Hunter Truong placed third. 

Congratulations to all of the winners! 

Holiday mocktail

Holiday Fever - 1st place

Created by Soumini Agate

  • Blackberry Jam
  • Hot Water (to dilute the jam and make it syrupy)
  • Lemonade
  • Seedlip Garden Botanicals
  • Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Blackberries
  • Ice
  • Gold Edible Glitter
  • Bar skewers
  1. Pour the blackberry syrup, seedlip, lemonade, blackberries and glitter in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and double strain in a rocks glass with ice.
  3. Top with elderflower fever tree tonic.
  4. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a skewered blackberry to finish.

NGWAI - 1st place

Created by Annabel Ochalefu

  • Hibiscus
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Cranberries
  • Cane Sugar
  • Ginger ale
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Strawberries
  1. Place hibiscus, ginger, cloves and pineapple in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain the hibiscus mixture. Add sugar to the strained liquid while still hot. Keep aside to cool before placing in the fridge.
  3. Blend strawberries, cranberries, grapefruit juice and hibiscus juice until smooth. Transfer to a container and place in the freezer.
  4. Scoop some of the sorbet into the glass. Pour in the hibiscus and then the ginger ale. Add garnishes.


Bloody Heaven - 2nd place

Created by Pari Keyvani

  • Handmade grenadine syrup
  • Blackberry
  • Strawberry
  • Lime
  • Coca-cola
  • Ice
  • Garnish (bubble sugar, glucose)

Shake and strain.


Upside Down Beer Mocktail - 3rd place

Created by Hunter Truong

  • Passionfruit puree (with seeds)
  • Club soda (Canada Dry)
  • Lime juice
  • Lime slide (garnish)
  • Mint (garnish)
  • Corona beer (Corona Sunbrew 0.0% abv)
  1. Put passionfruit puree in the glass.
  2. Add ice to half.
  3. Add 2/3 of the club soda to the glass.
  4. Add lime juice.
  5. Softly stir to make the soda and lime juice mix together but do not mix the puree at the bottom.
  6. Putting the lime slide inside for garnish.
  7. Put the beer holder on the brim of the glass.
  8. Put the beer into the glass by resting it in the beer holder.
  9. Garnish with mint.
  10. Add a straw.