There are some artists you come across that have the ability to enchant, impress and captivate you in such a way that you can’t help but want more – of them. And when their art is cake, and it’s some of the best cake you’ve ever tasted or most beautiful you’ve ever seen, you can’t help but want more of that, too. An addiction is started, but rooted in the appreciation of someone who has taken their passion and turned it into power – business, status and the ability to make any special occasion rise to its fullest potential. Ron Ben-Israel is that artist, and his cakes are the edible art at the center of that addiction.
Mr. Ben-Israel and his incredible team created a cake recently for an event hosted by Inspired Citizen for its partners in New York City. As clients, we were invited into his lair and led through the design process, as well as the process of selecting the flavors that would entice our guests. What a treat, literally, and what a pleasure it was to work with him and his counterparts to create something memorable that spoke to our brand and guest. Of course, travel governed the theme – and it was perfect.
Photo by: Maggie Marguerite Studios
Each area of the team’s space is dedicated to a different process of cake designing, making and decorating.
Sampling flavors before you choose which flavor to use in your cake is essential, and delicious.
Mr. Ben-Israel hails from Israel and came to New York years ago to dance. But, he gave-up his ballet shoes when chocolate and love took over, which led him to pursue his passion, and first inspiration from his mother – baking. New York loves a dream and a goal, but it doesn’t always make it easy for dreamers. It wasn’t easy or overnight for Ron, but through dedication and persistence – he was noticed by influential New Yorkers, like Martha Stewart. A well deserving star was born.
Photo by: Kitchen RBI Cakes
The studio, located on the West side of Manhattan, is a dream. There’s so much happening. Photoshoots, baking, carving, sugaring, designing, sketching, interviews and so much more. Brides, groomsmen, birthday girls and others trickle in and out to check on their dream cakes. Is mine going to be as beautiful as the ones I’ve seen in magazines? How will it taste? What about my guests who hate fondant? Mr. Ben-Israel has a solution for all of that. With a gleaming white flash of his smile, and nod to a team member, anything can be fixed.
Photo by: Maggie Marguerite Studios
Mr. Ben-Israel took me on a tour of his operation. The entire office smells like a baking vanilla cake, I couldn’t help but want to plant my face into a freshly made batch of chocolate buttercream, or steal a piece of round layer cake from the cooling shelf. But, I didn’t. Instead I watched him bounce from corner to corner, choreographing each move of his team and showing me the intricacy of carved sugar flowers, or the raw raspberry compote used between buttercream layers. Each flavor and sight was better than the next.
Photo by: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes
I was led into the design room to go over the details of our cake. Did I want buttercream? What about the exterior? Airplanes? Passport stamps? Yes, please. Anything is possible here – as long as you have the creativity and budget.
Ron Ben-Israel Cakes
After deciding on a framework for design, I left the rest to Ron. The masterpiece was layers of chocolate and vanilla cake with black cherry filling, hazelnut with praline crunch filling and grey fondant. It was incomparable.
The cake for Inspired Citizen was delivered an hour before the party started and served at room temperature by the caterer. Each gust who took a bite had the same expression – pure joy. It’s important to remember that, although Mr. Ben-Israel’s reputation is largely tied with wedding cakes, a cake is perfect for every occasion. None to big or too small. Aside from being a true work of art and flavor explosion, having a cake made by a legend and someone who truly puts love and goodness into every creation – is priceless.