Thirteen year old takes CLAM gingerbread contest

David Briggs
12/07/2017

A decorated 13-year-old chef from Mill Valley won the youth category in the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin’s third annual gingerbread house contest with this holiday homestead. Payton Pelaez, an eighth grader at the New Village School in Sausalito, has appeared in a baking competition on the Food Network and has given a TEDx talk on his love of cooking; he founded a dessert company, Chez Pay, when he was 9. Mr. Pelaez said he was perfecting his recipe for gingerbread houses when his mom discovered CLAM’s competition online. (The contest is a fundraiser to spread public awareness about housing.) Mr. Pelaez’s house is on display at Point Reyes Books through the end of December. “This was the first year I actually created a house that stood up and looked okay,” he said. But, he added, “I spent so much time on it and it got to be tedious at the end… I’m definitely going to smash it.”