Lovitch is mostly self-taught when it comes to baking, and entirely self-taught when it come to gingerbread-making. The average house in Gingerbread Lane takes about three hours to make, not including drying time. Structures that are really intricate like the carousel and hotel may take upwards of 35 hours. You can view a timeline of the entire year on the Gingerbread Lane website, in addition to checking out "facts and figures" such as, 1,200 candy canes were used in 2003 or that 2008's clock tower in Peppermint Central Park was 3 feet 11 inches and weighed whopping 41 pounds.
By day (well, and night!) Lovitch is an executive chef. He knew very early on what he wanted to do for a living, recalling his teenager-years dish-washing job at Worlds of Fun, an amusement park in Kansas City. He was amazed by the chef and fell in love with the line of work, prompting him to pursue a career in cooking. He worked at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center while attending culinary school there in Kansas City at Johnson County Community College. Lovitch then worked at the Hay Adams Hotel and Manor Country Club in Washington D.C. It was in D.C. that Gingerbread Lane really became what it is today when it found a home at the Capitol Children's Museum. Lovitch received his degree at The Culinary Institute of America in New York City, where he also put in time at the Plaza as a chef.
So, why the ambitious sugar and spice undertaking? For Lovitch, it's about creating something from scratch that piques the curiosity of the public, that enlists such joyful reaction, that brings people out during the holidays, and this year in particular, that brings them downtown, where he has lived for five years with his wife. It is here where Gingerbread Lane is created from start to finish. And for the first time, it did not have to travel far to its holiday viewing location: all 120 square feet of it, including an underground subway station, is took up residence in downtown Pittsburgh, and was part of the annual winter Pittsburgh tradition, Light Up Night.