Students enrolled in Salt Lake Community College’s culinary arts department took a unique and diverse approach to gingerbread houses for their sixth annual participation in Trees of Diversity.
The Trees of Diversity is a collection of 25 trees, along with gingerbread houses, wreaths, nativities and other holiday scenes decorated by ethnic arts groups from throughout the Salt Lake Valley, that is displayed at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, located at 1355 West 3100 South in West Valley City.
“This exhibit will get you in the holiday mood,” says newly-named Culinary Arts Director, Bob Burdette. “Not only are students creative by nature, but are also an affordable catering option, for the cost of ingredients.”
The students used the Salt Lake City LDS Temple, “Star Wars,” and the movie “300” as some of the themes to inspire their very diverse collection on display at the event.
Behind the trees from all backgrounds and cultures of the world, there is a well-placed, and fenced off, gingerbread village. The village has walls laced with dancing gingerbread men, candy homes and nutcrackers that tower over children who visit. SLCC students Diana and Taylor Green won Best of Show with their entry, Hazel’s Nut House.
The exhibit hall allows the viewer an opportunity to get an up-close look at the Snowflake Cookies & Bows on the tree created by the Culinary Bakers of SLCC.
A closer look at the SLCC tree will show that some gingerbread men are a little different than the others.
“The recipe for great gingerbread houses is: One dedicated instructor with passion for baking. Two dozen excited and talented students. Thirty hours of lab work with a wide variety of ingredients. Four pounds of encouragement, care and compassion,” says Burdette. “[Instructor Laura Marone’s] ability to orchestrate two teams of seven bakers is flawless.”
The gingerbread village and tree display is open for the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Saturday, Jan. 3. Admission is free.
Photos by Brook Cummings-Arnold