Stirred by the cleverly constructed gingerbread car in a window display for the US store Anthropologie, we want to retain our gingerbread-esque focus while shifting our gaze locally. Very local in fact. The popular Brooklyn Deli in Wellington is but a short walk from our house. With its welcoming rustic interior coupled with a wonderfully diverse menu and friendly staff, the eatery is a fixed feature of our weekly routine. Of added attraction is the eye-catching and mouth-watering display of gingerbread available for sale. Created by the skilled hands of Brooklyn Deli owners and Austrian expatriates Herwig and Theresa Maingast, their gingerbread range has become a wholesale product under the Hansel and Gretel name.
Inspiration behind the gingerbread can be traced back to the ancestral home of Theresa - Lake Mondsee ("Moon Lake") not far from the famous Austrian city of Salzburg. On entry to the Brooklyn Deli, patrons are greeted by a large photo (see above) of the picturesque lake, its surrounds famous for hosting a number of scenes in the movie " The Sound of Music." Baking prowess runs strong in Theresa's family. Her grandmother was well known within the Lake Mondsee community as a baker of considerable repute and Theresa today remains faithful to her grandmother's original gingerbread recipe. Indeed, the Brooklyn Deli menu includes a number of culinary treats from the owners home country.
One of the design challenges for the interior was covering a rather large and bland wall. With her design background, Theresa rose to the challenge and the result is a striking sliced timber feature wall.
Photographs by Charlotte Minty and words by Craig Greaves.