Episode 10: Ron Ben-Israel, celebrity baker and TV judge

He was discovered by Martha Stewart, judges 'Cake Wars,' and is one of the most sought-after wedding cake designers in the world.

The guest: Ron Ben-Israel has appeared on "Good Morning America," David Letterman's show and has baked cakes for Oprah Winfrey and President Obama. He made a cake for the wedding of Robert Downey, Jr., Britney Spears' new album party, and Elton John's birthday. His cakes are nothing short of extraordinary. The cake he made celebrating the Plaza Hotel's 100th birthday was an exact replica of the iconic building. It included 1,199 windows, 75 balconies, 58 planters and 23 street level lamps, painted with real 24 karat gold. The cake was 8 feet tall, six feet wide, and five feet deep. The cost of the two ton confection? $120,000. In addition to his cake business called "Ron Ben-Israel Cakes" he also teaches at the prestigious International Culinary Center in New York and is an active member of City Harvest Food Council, a non profit food rescue organization.

The gist: On today's episode, we visit with Ron Ben-Israel to discuss his storied career including: how he was discovered by Martha Stewart, what it's like being a judge for baking competitions on TV and the best advice he'd give to brides and grooms searching for the perfect wedding cake.

Further reading:

"Our Friend from Israel" is hosted by Benyamin Cohen. Our podcast theme music is by Haim Mazar, a Hollywood film composer who grew up in Israel. Follow our podcast on Facebook for behind-the-scenes access to the show.

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Ron Ben-Israel teaches "Cake Decorating and Chocolate Work" on Day 1 of the New York Culinary Experience in New York City. Ron Ben-Israel teaches "Cake Decorating and Chocolate Work" on Day 1 of the New York Culinary Experience in New York City. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Culinary Experience)

Ron Ben-Israel attends a New York Magazine Weddings event in New York City Ron Ben-Israel attends a New York Magazine Weddings event in New York City. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Ron Ben-Israel and his cake Ron Ben-Israel presents a cake he designed for the 18th Annual City Harvest Bid Against Hunger Tasting Event in New York City. (Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Cake designer Ron Ben-Israel presents a cake for a bride on her wedding day. Cake designer Ron Ben-Israel presents a cake for a bride on her wedding day. (Photo: Fred Marcus Photography)



Benyamin: On this episode of "Our Friend From Israel."

Jonathan Bennet: This is not your average competition.

Speaker 3: Let's win this!

Jonathan Bennet: It's high stakes, and amazing cakes.

Ron: It's the perfect cake.

Jonathan Bennet: This is "Cake Wars."

Speaker 4: New Series, "Cake Wars." Premiers June 28th at 8:00.

Speaker 4: Food Network, dig in.

Benyamin: That was a promo for "Cake Wars," a reality show competition which pits amateur bakers against each other. Judging each masterpiece are three celebrity chefs. One of whom is Ron Ben-Israel. The cakes on each episode have a theme. It could be anything from Dr. Seuss to Star Wars.

Ron: The concept of your cake humanizes Darth Vader. Taste wise though, your chocolate cake is very light. It doesn't give me the evil power. But your filling tastes like vacation.

Benyamin: Ron wasn't always such a well known personality. He got his start building elaborate cakes that would be part of the set decoration for store windows in Manhattan. One day as luck would have it, Martha Stewart walked by and saw his creations. She invited him on her show, and the rest, is TV history.

Benyamin: Ron has appeared on "Good Morning America," David Letterman's show and has baked cakes for Oprah Winfrey and President Obama. He made a cake for the wedding of Robert Downey, Jr. Britney Spears' new album party, and Elton John's birthday. His cakes are nothing short of extraordinary. The cake he made celebrating the Plaza Hotel's 100th birthday was an exact replica of the iconic building. It included 1199 windows, 75 balconies, 58 planters and 23 street level lamps, painted with real 24 karat gold. The cake was 8 feet tall, six feet wide, and five feet deep. It was painstakingly put together by 17 artisans in Ron's midtown Manhattan studio over the course of six weeks. It had 18 hundred pounds of powdered sugar, 350 pounds of butter and weighed 3,900 pounds. The cost of the two ton confection? 120 thousand dollars.

Benyamin: Is this the largest cake project that you've ever undertaken?

Ron: Definitely.

Benyamin: In addition to his cake business called "Ron Ben-Israel Cakes" he also teaches at the prestigious International Culinary Center in New York and is an active member of City Harvest Food Council, a non profit food rescue organization.

Benyamin: On today's episode, we visit with Ron Ben-Israel to discuss his storied career, what he hopes to be doing in the future and the intense drama of transporting wedding cakes through Manhattan without them melting. Stay tuned.

Benyamin: Welcome to "Our Friend From Israel." A podcast brought to you by fromthegrapevine.com. I'm your host Benyamin [Cohen 00:03:07] and each week we'll have a conversation with an intriguing Israeli. They'll come from all walks of life. Actors, artists, athletes, archeologists, and other news makers.

Benyamin: Today's guest is celebrity chef Ron Ben-Israel.

Benyamin: Tell me when you're ready. You good?

Ron: I'm ready.

Benyamin: We'd like welcome Ron Ben-Israel to the show today. Thank you so much for joining us.

Ron: It's a pleasure to be with you Benyamin. Benjamin. It's Benyamin?

Benyamin: Well the Israeli version is Benyamin I guess.

Ron: Benyamin right. Which means "Son of my right arm."

Benyamin: Yes. I'm like a right hand man. What is that called in the kitchen? The sou chef?

Ron: Sou chef. You know what's wrong? Some Americans think that Ron comes from Ronald but it doesn't. It's a Hebrew name from Psalms. It's the famous line that says, "Rejoice be the hills," and that's Ron. I was born with a very optimistic name. Rejoice or sing happily.

Benyamin: Did you think you've lived up to your name?

Ron: I try on a daily basis. It's always honestly a struggle because I'm a very, I just had another visitor from Paris who's Israeli designer and we talked about our Germanic background. My mother was Austrian from Vienna. And in Israel when you grow up there's ... It's the kind of people that are very organized, very obsessive. A lot of bakers are from Germany, Hungary, or Austria. And we like everything to be in its right place. So it's easy for me to get upset when things don't go according to plan. And as I mature I try to be flexible and don't let things upset me.

Benyamin: I guess that's good. You never know what's going to happen in a kitchen I guess.

Ron: Right and I work with very temperamental ingredients. Butter, sugar, flour, head cold. And then I work with very temperamental clients because most of our clients are getting married. So there's a lot of ... although it's time of joy, people put a lot into planning. And there's usually stress based on different opinions from the family and friends and showing off, expense. I have to deal with all that and remain calm and serene.

Benyamin: I wanted to switch topics a little bit and talk about being a judge on television, on baking shows. We're seeing everything in an hour, it must take a forever, it must take a long time for people to actually-

Ron: Yeah those shows, easily you would spend 12 hours days just to shoot and the hundred and hundreds of field tape that they later have to edit. And then it's condensed to 45 minutes.

Benyamin: When you come are all the cakes are already ready or do you have to wait around?

Ron: Well it depends on the show. The last show, I had three seasons with "Cake Wars." Everything was made in front of us. So we spent hours watching the bakers do their tasks. There is a lot of, when you do TV there is a lot of advance preparations from the production team. They have to prepare the ingredients and make sure that the competitors are well versed in what they are going to do. Every episode has days and days of preparation.

Ron: You have to cast the show, bring in the contestants, house them, make sure they are there. It's much more than what you see. But it's very exciting to be part of those shows. I learned a lot myself.

Benyamin: What did you learn?

Ron: Well what I learn is patience because watching contestants and not being able to jump in and help them or participate in the challenge is very frustrating for me 'cause I like to be hands on. So just watching without being able to scream or give orders or jump in, that was like a meditation practice.

Benyamin: What's the one thing people would be, viewers of those shows, would be surprised about if you kind of raised the curtain and they got to look behind the scenes?

Ron: How much happens in the very last minute. It's amazing what five or ten minutes before the count down can achieve and that's where you see people lose it and become hysterical and their whole cake collapses or they pull together and make miracles. And I love the last few minutes.

Benyamin: You've done cakes for a lot of celebrity events, Robert Downey Jr., Elton John, Britney Spears.

Ron: President Obama.

Benyamin: What did you do for President Obama?

Ron: That was few months ago and he was a guest speaker at the Temple of Emmanuel here on 5th Avenue. So they wanted to honor him with a cake that would describe his personality. So we did mostly his books and posters and the logo from his campaign. It was tongue in cheek but it was quite large and elaborate. But the important thing is when you mention celebrities and people who are very well off, everybody is welcome. I try to work with everybody who wants our cake. Which is very straight forward with what's possible with specific budgets and times of the year. I believe in transparency here.

Ron: People who plan their own wedding get into trouble when they want something without being realistic about it. And my job is to make people happy but there's so much I can do. I try to have a open conversation but sometimes I just have to turn around and say to potential clients, "I don't think it's a good fit."

Benyamin: Right, not everybody is Oprah in that sense.

Ron: Well she was well behaved. You can get a lot with honey as opposed to vinegar. No it's true, when you work with custom, let's say when you get a custom wedding dress or a tuxedo, if you get a good relationship with the tailor, you'll get so much more. I try to remember that people are under stress, they come here and we serve them tea, sometimes Champagne and cake and most people are very happy. But I cannot work with somebody who's not happy. If there are any conflict I try to be sort of mediator by offering cake for everyone. But I realize there's the right baker for the right bride so to speak. And I can not be that for every person.

Benyamin: I hear you. Do you have a favorite Oprah story?

Ron: So you're taking away back to the celebrities and what I wanted to say is that I try to treat everyone that comes through the door should be treated like they are royalty. And we do that. But the truth is that when you have celebrities and you have professionals in the entertainment industry, they're actually very well behaved, and will show up on time. What I can't respect is someone who behaves like what they think a celebrity would do. And it's interesting that people that have a lot of experience in performing and dealing with media, they would always be on time. They would always be upfront. And that's something that I try to channel.

Ron: But we get a lot of sports figure, and I'm not a sports person. I learn about sports through the cakes because I will do a specially Bar Mitzvah for a baseball fan, a football fan. A few months ago we had a very well known baseball fan and I totally confused it with football. And luckily he laughed and was forgiving.

Benyamin: I once interviewed a sculptor. And Israeli sculptor artist who is famous for doing famous sports figure sculptures. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson. And I asked him, "What sport do you like?" And he said to me, "I don't like sports." It's the same concept.

Benyamin: When we return, Ron talks about growing up in Israel and how he got discovered by Martha Stewart.

Benyamin: What was it like getting a call from Martha Stewart.

Ron: Actually I thought it was a joke. I thought somebody was pulling my leg and then when I arrive they would all be laughing at me.

Benyamin: If you're enjoying this interview with celebrity chef Ron Ben-Israel, you'll also want to check out our recent episode with Sarah Berkowitz. She's a home cook who has produced more than 400 recipes for our website at fromthegrapevine.com.

Sarah: No I had an interest in psychology since I was very little. I loved the idea of nurturing people and helping them fix their problems and I've really discovered that food has a way of doing that. The act of eating and cooking for someone is very intimate. I find that it creates a strong bond. It's the kind of gift. When you give someone homemade food or when you cook a meal for someone, it really strengthens your bond. It's more than just food.

Benyamin: Check out that previous episode at ourfriendfromisrael.com. And while you're there sign up for our Israeli newsletter to receive Sarah's recipes in your email each week.

Benyamin: And now back to today's show with Ron Ben-Israel.

Benyamin: Where did you grow up in Israel?

Ron: I grew up in north Telive, in a suburb that is very close the Telive university. So it was very within access to all the cultural institutions. The Philharmonic Theater. My father always had a subscription to the Philharmonic. And I would love the theater and the museums. And I went to art school in Telive.

Benyamin: Were you always interested in baking growing up?

Ron: Yes. I always had a sweet tooth and I was fascinated by the process of making baked goods and desserts. So I started whipping the cream for my mother's desserts. And eventually I started collecting recipes and trying by myself. Coming up with cakes, and mousses and I was fascinating about the chemical process. For instance, how you make a pudding by mixing corn starch and milk and eggs, and then it sets in the refrigerator. Or gelatin, it was just fascinating. I used to make those elaborate Jello molds as a kid.

Benyamin: Was that your favorite dessert growing up? A Jello?

Ron: No my favorite dessert was always cake, specifically yeast baked cakes. But this required a lot of time and my mother would shoo me out of the kitchen because I would create a mess. With yeast that's always been my favorite type of desserts. Kugelhopf, the Austrian cake that looks like a Turkish turban. Danishes, challah but now that's what I do to relax. I would make a six braid of challah, round for Rosh Hashanah or elongated for different holidays. I would spend two days baking them and that's part of the fun. So my ability for patience have grown.

Benyamin: When you were growing up I was reading you actually became a dancer instead of a baker is that right?

Ron: Yeah. What happened is, I went first to art school because both my parents were artisans. So I went to art school for four years and I thought I'd specialize in theater sets and costumes and then somebody, a friend from school took a modern dance class and said, "Why don't you come and try it." And I got hooked immediately. I dropped everything else and that's what I wanted to do. I'm very obsessive, I don't have hobbies, I just have careers.

Ron: For the next 15 years that's what I've done. And I was very ambitious as well. And even though I started late I ended up joining dance companies and touring a lot. The professional baking came much later. That's like my third career. It came when I couldn't dance anymore. And I wasn't getting commissions and I needed to find other venues for income.

Benyamin: Was there any other careers in between dancing and baking?

Ron: What happened there was a transition, and I needed to find freelance jobs. Oh now that I think about it. Towards the end of dancing, to sponsor, to pay the rent, to sponsor my life, I started working as a designer in show rooms and store windows in New York City so I was working back with the design knowledge I had. And there was request to do cakes to enhance china and tabletops in a showroom. So I did the cakes as a visual part. And that's how it all started. It's pretty mysterious how things come. I never planned for anything.

Benyamin: Are there any similarities between being a dancer and a baker?

Ron: Absolutely and over the years I started teaching at the International Culinary Center, which was founded as the French Culinary. And now I teach in the bakery. And I relied on students and intern. I would train them and then they would become my employees. And one of the best sources for employees are those people who were athletes or dancers, because the physical repetitiveness is very important in pastry and in cooking. You need to have the patience and the stamina to continuously repeat tasks until they become perfect. So dancers don't complain, they just do it again and again. And they also rely on feedback. So we need people to tell us ... I remember my father can to visit me in New York City. And he came to a ballet class that I was taking and he said, "Why is the teacher against you? Why is she giving you corrections all the time? You were doing the exercises." He didn't understand that that's actually a compliment, that you need feedback.

Ron: Our employees crave to be corrected because that means they're doing well. So lots of similarities. And also there's you know when you dance you have the ecstasy of movement but you have the daily class, the daily exercise, the stretching. And you always have to prove yourself again. The body doesn't automatically do what you want. You have to make it comply. And that's very much like working with temperamental chocolate.

Benyamin: Speaking of which. You were saying you got into baking because you were using them as visual aids in windows. Shop windows. And your cakes are, to someone who's never seen a Ron Ben-Israel cake, these are elaborate cakes. How would you describe that kind of style for someone who's never seen that?

Ron: Even the cakes I do at home for friends or myself, I like to have them challenge me. I don't just serve a cake and slop some cream on it. I like the whole process and the whole idea for me when you come to our shop to order a custom made cake, it has to be not an everyday project. I want a bride to realize that she's ordering something that's very unique and special. Once in a lifetime cake as opposed to something you get from around the corner. You invest in it. It's a show piece and then of course, a delectable dessert.

Benyamin: Is there a reason, is that why you decided to make your name in the wedding cake industry? Because they're so unique?

Ron: I didn't think about having a business. People started ordering and I was really discovered by the print media. Bride's Magazine, Modern Bride, In Style and then Martha Stewart was a very influential force. She discovered me in a store window where my cakes were displayed. She was walking down Fifth Avenue and there were the cakes. So people started asking about it. I remember that Martha was actually interested in me becoming commercial. She said, "Why don't you sell the cakes?" And other people have asked me. What happens is, with that custom work, whether you are caterer, fashion designer, or cake maker, you get a deposit and you book the date. So once I booked the date I really had to learn professionally how to do those things. I did a lot of training. I found am mentor, her name is Betty [Vanostrad 00:21:08] and she taught me everything I know about cake décor and structure.

Ron: And then I started following different bakers and I did internships just to learn what's inside a cake. But I would have never done it if people did not come to me and offer to pay me.

Benyamin: Okay. What was it like getting a call from Martha Stewart? It must have been a life changing moment.

Ron: Actually I thought it was joke. I thought someone was pulling my leg. And then when I arrive they would all be laughing at me. That initial menu she baked scones, she had been on TV the hour before, so she fed me her scones and asked me what I think about them.

Benyamin: And were they good?

Ron: Oh excellent. But I analyzed the crumb and I asked her about the ingredients. The interesting thing is, there's a language, you can always connect through cake and desserts. Pastry chefs have their own language and we like to communicate like this. So that's why the connection with Martha and other editors of magazine work so well because we had things to talk about. Whether color swatches or techniques. Nd to this day, one of my biggest joys it to design cakes for Martha Stewart's weddings. And we just taped a chapter of her show on PBS, which is going to be shown this summer, how to decorate the cake. It's such a joy to dive in. You forget about everything else and just work with the product.

Benyamin: I always find it interesting, I see so many bakers who are not heavy, and I always wonder if they're eating so much cake, and they're around so much cake, and how are they not gaining so much weight?

Ron: That's an interesting thing. How do we do it? I think pastry chefs tend to taste a lot rather than to sit down with a full meal. I in the past few years have tried to keep a healthy diet. I eat lots of broccoli and then I can spoil myself with desserts. For me when you go out, usually people recognize me in restaurants and I get to taste all the desserts in the house. And I am very glad to comply.

Benyamin: Hopefully you've been enjoying our new podcast, "Our Friend From Israel." If you have, head on over to Itunes or Google Play and leave us a review. The more reviews we have, the more people discover the show. And if there's a particular episode you've enjoyed like the one with Michael Pasikov, the cancer survivor who plays piano with one hand. Or the alien hunter, Avi Loeb from Harvard University. Any of those episodes, why not tell a friend about them, send them a link to that episode so that we can have more people like you enjoying "Our Friend From Israel."

Benyamin: And now back to our interview with celebrity chef and wedding cake designer, Ron Ben-Israel.

Benyamin: There's something so special about baking I think in general. It's such a joyous activity, and everybody likes cake. It's not like you're an accountant looking at cakes all day, this is something you know brings joy to other people.

Ron: Well I'm sure accountants can ... I assume accountants and bookkeepers get great joy with the spreadsheets. I wouldn't be able to do it. But each career has it's own challenges and sometimes I question, why do I do it? The drama of delivering a cake in New York City in hot June with traffic, and street fairs and security of entering locations. Entering locations is a real challenge because of heightened security in New York City.

Ron: We had the exclusive supplies of cakes to the One World Observatory, which is in the very top of one World Trade Center, which was rebuilt. So it takes us about two hours to get into the building.

Benyamin: How do you keep the cake, you have to keep it refrigerated or no?

Ron: Yes. The cake are refridgerated over type. We always finish the cakes the night before, and actually need to [maseraite 00:25:44] and sort of mature in our refrigeration system, which is advanced balance between moisture and coolness. And got crated and then the delivered in cold vans or trucks and they're designed to come slowly to room temperature until they are perfect to be cut and served. So we tend to arrive before the guests and we set it up. Most locations in New York City are air conditioned so that's ideal. But we also delievered longer distance and we delivered to tents, which are not air conditioned.

Ron: So we would park the truck, refridgerate behind the tent and probably set up the cake an hour before the guests eat.

Benyamin: Pretty stressful. Has there ever been a close call where you had a-

Ron: Of course, that's why I'm telling you, once in a while I'm thinking why shouldn't I be an accountant myself and just relax? There's stress everywhere. I think for accountants, probably my accountant is very stressed during tax season. And we are stressed during the holidays, and wedding seasons. But it's exciting, it's like a performance. I tell me employees that we are only as good as our last cake. We can never rest on your laurels.

Ron: And I also anticipate mistakes. That's why we run the operations like a military adventure. We have so many regulations, how to handle things from the health department and food handler's licensing and also internal regulations that we set up. So hopefully we catch mistakes before they actually happen.

Ron: But there have been some near disasters, I think we handled each one. But you know sometimes traffic is not what you expect. There's also human error. The cakes always comply, but we don't as individuals.

Ron: I had a cake that was delivered by our head designer, to the wrong location. And then it is a chain of events where the caterer signed for it, so he accepted the wrong cake. And by the time we found out it was later in the evening when we had to switch cakes. That could have been a great TV Episode.

Benyamin: That reminds me of like a sit-com where you pick up, you think you're picking up a birthday cake and it's actually something else.

Ron: Exactly. We wrote on a cake once, I remember, Mark, but I think we wrote it with a K and not with a C. So I had to rush back and scrap some of the frosting to make it right. So there's a lot of practice and a lot of faith here that we will be able to do it again and again. And we do. But nothing is guaranteed. We don't take it for granted.

Benyamin: What tips would you give to a couple who are planing their wedding and are thinking about a cake?

Ron: Well that's really endless. Ideally they would have an accountant. They would have somebody do spreadsheets, budgeting and options because it's heartbreaking when somebody wants a certain style and a certain size of a cake and then they realize they can't afford it. So I would do, due diligence and research and find out pricing and availability and what are they in the rules.

Ron: For instance if you come to use last minute in June, we'll probably will have to turn you away. Because we book long time in advance. So research and then maybe visit two or three vendors of each category. So try different florists, different photographer but don't drive yourself crazy because in New York City alone you could visit 15 different bakeries for the cake. So I would rely on the recommendations, research.

Ron: Ideally, the best clients for us are those who come with three different referrals. Meaning they attended an event that they tried our cake, a family member or friend used us, and maybe they did some research online or print media and found out what we stand for.

Benyamin: Do you have a favorite cake that you've ever made?

Ron: The answer is that the cake that I'm going to do next are always the most exciting. So I'm not so sentimental. Just like photos of myself. I don't like to look at old photos I like to move ahead. I'm very excited about the cakes that we plan. Often we plan cakes half a year to a year in advance. So right now in June I'm thinking of course, the cakes that we achieve every week. But I'm very excited about new techniques and new ideas that I'll present in the fall season, which nobody gets to see unless you're planning your own party. So it's all under wraps. It's like being in a theater show, but rehearsing for the next show.

Ron: I got away with that answer I hope.

Benyamin: No, no, no it was good.

Ron: I don't like to play favorites. They are all like kids and you can not favor one kid over the other. And there are things I'm crazy about one season and then the next season we change.

Benyamin: Is there a particular cake you just don't like? Like carrot cake that just doesn't sit well?

Ron: Oh you mean in terms of flavor? No. On the contrary I love it all. I regret not being able to just certain cakes that I do love. I'm very fond of nuts and spices and herbs. So we used to present a great pasticcio cake and a great almond cake. And even though people would still try it and confess how much they like it, they rarely order it for celebrations. There's a perception that people are, there's a large population that is allergic to nuts, which is not true. But when people host a large, especially weddings or large events, they are afraid that somebody will be allergic and then they choose cakes that have the less potential for allergy. While I say if you have a large number of people, one person may be allergic to strawberry, and somebody else could be allergic to chocolate. You cannot make decisions based on that. Unless a close family member is allergic.

Benyamin: How often do you get back to Israel? Do you still have family there?

Ron: Oh I go once or twice a year and then of course, when there's certain celebrations. I have been bringing smaller cakes for my friends and family. But I can't bring a cake ... the weddings in Israel are very large. 400 people is considered a small wedding. So I haven't been able to bring giant cakes as much as I would like to.

Ron: I remember the stories about Golda Mayer, a female prime person, apparently she used to host the heads of state in her own kitchen and serve them cookies. I don't know if she baked the cookies herself. But I find out that ... I take this example, when you feed people cakes you can really connect with them and open doors.

Benyamin: That's a beautiful thought. And where do you see yourself in five to ten years from now? Do you still hope to be doing what you're doing now? Or do you have bigger plans?

Ron: I would love to continue to making cakes because that's my bread and butter. And I always feel worthy when great delicious and amazing looking cakes are going out of the door. So I see myself doing that for the next few years. But I enjoy more and more teaching and passing on the knowledge and trading. And it's really fun to travel and discover new places and also get to lecture and learn. My favorite way to travel is to go to a conference where I would give a presentation and then also get to tour the country and meet other people.

Ron: I just came back last week from Nigeria and I spent a week there in a conference for event planners, cake makers, and people in the events industry. And I got to see occasions and encounters that I would never see any other way. That was my first time in Africa.

Ron: I would love to go to Japan and to Russia. I'm just hinting.

Benyamin: And finally, I close all my interviews with this question. Is there anything I should have asked you that I did not ask you?

Ron: You could ask me if I'm married?

Benyamin: Are you married?

Ron: No, but I never close the door on it. I've been planning the cake for the longest time. And I'll let you know and invite you.

Benyamin: What kind of cake would you have, do you know?

Ron: One of my favorite flavors is ginger. So I have my chef make a candied ginger buttercream. Usually I do it for my birthday. Not everybody likes it, but I'm crazy about it.

Benyamin: But it would be your special day so it doesn't matter.

Ron: And I also love green tea cake that we do here. Which is an acquired taste but it's like a green tea cloud. I think it's quite delicious. When you come and visit I'll let you taste.

Benyamin: Sounds good. Alright well thank you very much for joining us on the show today. I really appreciate it. It was great chatting with you.

Ron: My pleasure. And the reason I brought the idea of feeding cake is because unfortunately on the radio we cannot see the cakes or feel the cakes. But everyone is welcome to try them in real life.

Benyamin: Sounds good. We'll send them to your bakery.

Ron: The easiest way to reach us is through our website, weddingcakes.com and that links there to your social media, all throughout social media, Instagram, which is very popular, Facebook, Twitter, we are all the same RBIcakes. Because who can spell Ron Ben-Israel? So RBIcakes is the way to find us or weddingcakes.com.

Benyamin: Perfect. Well thank you so much I really appreciate it.

Ron: Thank you Benyamin to allow me to talk about myself. Great. Thank you so much.

Benyamin: Alright thank you so much Ron I appreciate it.

Ron: Take care Benyamin.

Benyamin: Bye-bye.

Ron: My pleasure, bye-bye.

Benyamin: "Our Friend From Israel," is a production of fromthegrapevine.com extra note and a transcript of today's episode can be found at ourfriendfromisrael.com. Our show is produced by Paula Kasko. Editorial help from Jaime Bender and Ilana Strauss. Our head engineer is Everett Adams. Our theme music is by Haiam Mazar, a Hollywood film producer who grew up in Israel.

Benyamin: You can visit our website at fromthegrapevine.com to find more episodes of the show. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcast app. Feel free to leave us a review there, when you do it helps others discover "Our Friend From Israel." I'm your host, Benyamin Cohen and until next time, we hope you have a great week.


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Related Topics: Chefs & Restaurants, TV

Episode 10: Ron Ben-Israel, celebrity baker and TV judge
He was discovered by Martha Stewart, judges 'Cake Wars,' and is one of the most sought-after wedding cake designers in the world.