No contest, no problem:

KHS culinary students create, display gingerbread houses

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br>
Students in Chef Michael Gaul's Culinary Arts class at Kingman High School work on the lighthouse gingerbread piece.

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JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> Students in Chef Michael Gaul's Culinary Arts class at Kingman High School work on the lighthouse gingerbread piece. <a href="http://kingmandailyminer.com/Formlayout.asp?formcall=userform&form=20">Click here to purchase this photo</a>

KINGMAN - Hansel and Gretel wouldn't know what to make of these gingerbread houses.

Students enrolled in the Culinary Arts class at Kingman High School invested hours designing gingerbread houses fit for SpongeBob Squarepants, Smurfs and wayward boaters. Their creations are on display through New Year's in the front window of Home Style Furniture at 112 N. 4th Street in downtown Kingman.

The display is ordinarily part of an annual contest through the Downtown Merchant's Association, but even after this year's contest stalled, the students were still eager to build the creative homes.

"You can see by their work that they really got into it and enjoyed it," said Chef Michael Gaul, who heads the class.

This year's gingerbread houses included a lighthouse, hunting shacks, a Smurf cottage (complete with a bubblegum car parked out front), a SpongeBob Squarepants hut and the more traditional holiday gingerbread houses.

Alex Mayo, who created the lighthouse with classmate Amy Webb, was especially excited to participate again this year after taking home Best in Show prizes last year with his version of the Eiffel Tower. Gaul said Mayo's tower won the People's Choice award by one vote over a gingerbread cabin that allowed people to view a holiday scene inside.

The cabin was so intricate that the students who worked on it used tweezers to put icing on the wreaths that decorated the home.

There are no cash prizes this year, but that didn't stop the students from getting creative with gingerbread, no matter how difficult the medium.

"The reason there's only five houses out of 70 students is because it's pretty tricky," Gaul said. Gingerbread can get burnt in the oven and walls can collapse when the icing is too thin.

The houses are made of all edible material but can be kept indefinitely. Gaul said he recently disposed of a gingerbread house from last year that he used this year as an example for the students.

This year's gingerbread homes were made by Mayo and Amy Webb, who crafted the lighthouse; Enrique Cadena, who made a SpongeBob Squarepants house; Olivia Delk Hogie and Cassandra Herndon, who made a Smurf house; Sommer Ang, who made a winter cottage; Monica Morris and Kayla Clayton, who made hunting shacks; and Morgen and Jordyn Schreiner, who made houses.