For Ron Ben-Israel, the man whose cakes have been lauded by The New York Times as “the Manolo Blahniks of wedding cakes,” his inspiration for his confectionery creations often comes from the client.
I had a chance to speak to Ben-Israel at the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the U.S. event at ICE, and as he explained, what motivates him most when it comes to making his beautiful cakes is making the client happy — he’s no pastry diva. Ben-Israel carefully crafts his cakes to take into account the client’s expectations and the tone and size of the event that the cake is intended for.
Clearly, his client-first attitude is working. Along with running his successful Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, his bakery and appointment-only showroom in Soho, New York, Ben-Israel also has hosted a Food Network show “Sweet Genius” where he challenges pastry chefs to create delectable sweets and desserts within a limited amount of time and using surprise ingredients.
When it comes to his own confections, there aren’t too many surprise ingredients. Ben-Israel prefers more traditional flavors that are crowd pleasers for his clients’ events, like good old vanilla and chocolate. However, he does love experimenting with more exotic flavors as well. Passion fruit, ginger, and spices all are such interesting and special additions that he loves to play with.
It’s Ben-Israel’s use of the purest and highest quality ingredients and his painstaking attention to detail that make these cakes anything but ordinary. See some examples of his elegant cakes below.
Interview by Leigh Suznovich