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Maui Culinary Academy students create Gingerbread Village

By Staff | Dec 23, 2010

The Maui Culinary Academy students set up the Gingerbread Village in The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas’ lobby area.

KAANAPALI — In the true tradition of sharing and giving this festive season, students of the Maui Culinary Academy partnered with The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas to create a “Gingerbread Village” to share with visitors to the island and the resort.

Complete with a church, barns, elf houses, country store and resort villa condos, the picturesque setting was thoughtfully crafted and designed by seven students under the tutelage of academy Pastry Chef Teresa Shurilla.

The students even added one of the two towers of a sister resort, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, with a full set of reindeer and Santa landing atop the rooftop.

According to Shurilla, the students enrolled between second and fifth semesters began work on the gingerbread décor immediately after Thanksgiving.

“They volunteered their time to stop by and help bake 15 sheets of gingerbread to cut and create pieces to paste onto the press board buildings,” she said.

Other ingredients included three 20-quart icing containers and two buckets of assorted candy and cereal to decorate the roof, windows, doors and sides of the buildings.

Student Gina Yoneda came up with the idea of partnering with the resort when she was first approached by resort Executive Chef Francois Milliet to create a gingerbread-themed setting for the resort’s lobby area.

“It was challenging with a lot of hard work, but we are very proud and amazed with the final results,” said Gina.

Crediting their instructor, Shurilla, and her husband, Chris, who helped shape the press board buildings, Gina and her friends were thrilled to see the results of their efforts.

She was joined by fellow students Pualani Franco, Nicole Giaconi, Davra Summers, Benjamin Sagaysay, Rowena Yadao and former student Jessica Ahlstrand.

For a complete schedule of holiday events, visit www.westinkaanapali.com or call 667-3200.