A New York artist will show off his amazing talent in a gingerbread showdown on national television.

Matt Maley of New Paltz, New York has come a long way since graduating from SUNY Purchase in 1990 with a BA in Fine Arts. He began working in the comic industry as a production artist for Archie Comics. He then moved to Brooklyn to work for Marvel as a letterer and logo designer.

Lettering evolved into art corrections, inking, licensed and original illustrations. That opened the doors to working with more companies such as Disney, Children’s Television Workshop, and Nickelodeon.

Maley built his first gingerbread house in 2017 for the Mohonk Mountain House competition. It wasn't just any gingerbread house either. The intricate 2-story garden tower featured a spiral staircase up the middle and lots of flowers.

"I was in it to win the two-night stay for two at the hotel. And I won."
Credit - Matt Maley
Credit - Matt Maley
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Maley's talent got noticed by the Food Network that was doing a nationwide search for contestants for the Holiday Baking Championship-Gingerbread Showdown.

I received a text message from an agent last February, which I first thought was spam, so I ignored it. Then I received a direct message as well as an email, so I finally responded.

The Holiday Baking Championship features three teams of two with a builder and a baker.  The bakers, in addition to assisting the builders, have the added challenge of creating a unique treat to incorporate into the diorama.

Maley teamed up with Chelle Baldwin for the Gingerbread Showdown, a woman he went to school at SUNY Purchase with and the owner of Sweet Abilities Bakery in Nashville, Tennessee, a supportive and educational space that teaches baking to the special needs community.

She also sells delicious pastries online and builds amazing themed cakes, so choosing Chelle was a no-brainer.

The competition actually began in Maley's kitchen where he had to document his design and baking of a four-foot, 36-inch high diorama with one motorized element. After the gingerbread creation was complete, Maley had to ship it to Knoxville and cross his fingers nothing got damaged.

We had 10 hours to build and decorate, which seems like a lot of time... it’s not.
Credit - Matt Maley
Credit - Matt Maley
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You can watch the Gingerbread Showdown with Maley and Baldwin when it airs on Monday, December 6 at 9 PM on the Food Network.

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