Ron Ben-Israel

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Ron Ben-Israel
Born1957 (age 56–57)
Israel
NationalityIsraeli-American
OccupationPastry chef,
Host of Sweet Genius
Home townManhattan
 
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Ron Ben-Israel
Born1957 (age 56–57)
Israel
NationalityIsraeli-American
OccupationPastry chef,
Host of Sweet Genius
Home townManhattan

Ron Ben-Israel is an Israeli pastry chef. He is the executive chef and owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City. He is known for his wedding and special occasion cakes and for his detail in sugar paste flowers. From 2011 - 2013, he also hosted the cooking competition TV show Sweet Genius.

Early life[edit]

Ben-Israel was born in Israel in 1957. His mother was born in Vienna and was rescued from the ghetto by American volunteers, later immigrating to Israel. His father, Moshe, lost most of his family in the Holocaust, and survived Auschwitz. His father worked in the printing industry, while his mother worked in map-making for the government.[1]

Ben-Israel grew up in Tel Aviv. He loved baking in the kitchen as a child. He attended the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, specializing in dance.[1]

In the mid-1970s, he served as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. He gives credit to his Israeli military training for his later success, saying it gave him discipline and precision in his work.[2]

Dancing career[edit]

Ben-Israel started a dance career at age 21, right after leaving the army. He specialized in modern dance. He danced with the Israeli dance companies Batsheva and Bat-Dor[1] over a period of some 15 years, and toured internationally.[3] Near the end of his dancing career, he moved to the United States.[3]

Baking career[edit]

In 1993, while living in New York City, Ben-Israel retired from dancing, in part due to having developed arthritis.[1] He started a new career in cooking, doing temporary jobs making cakes and designing shop windows.[citation needed] In 1996, he fell in love with baking.[2] He was discovered and mentored by Martha Stewart who saw one of his cakes in a window.[3][4]

Ben-Israel's confectionery pieces have been featured at the openings of the Mandarin Oriental, New York and The Ritz-Carlton and are part of events at other New York hotels including the St. Regis, the Pierre, and the New York Palace.[citation needed] Modern Bride, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Weddings, In Style, The New York Times, and Vogue have commissioned his cake designs.[citation needed] His television appearances include Martha Stewart, the Bravo Network, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Food Network, and the Late Show with David Letterman.[5]

Since 2011, Ben-Israel has been the host and judge of the Food Network competition show Sweet Genius.[6]

Ben-Israel is a Visiting Master Pastry-Instructor at The International Culinary Center in New York City. He teaches the Classic Pastry Arts class and the Cake Techniques & Design class his approach to sugar paste.[5]

Memberships[edit]

He is an active member of City Harvest Food Council, a New York food rescue organization.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Ben-Israel is openly gay.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]