This is the Transcript of the #WeddingMarket Chat on May 7th, 2014 with Master Pastry Chef Ron Ben Israel host of Food Network’s Sweet Genius. The answers were made on Twitter so responses will appear different.042712_1_highres copy
Ron Ben-Israel Biography

In 1999 Ron established his flagship design studio and bakery in Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood. In addition to wonderful private clients, many of New York’s premier hotels such as The Pierre, The St. Regis, The NY Palace, The Ritz-Carlton, The Waldorf-Astoria, The Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental are devotees. Aside from serving the northeast, his cakes are frequently delivered to destinations throughout the continental U.S and abroad.

Ron’s confectionary creations have been featured in countless publications, many times adorning their covers. Some publications include: The New York Times, New York Magazine, Town and Country, People, NY Post, NY DailyNews, Martha Stewart Living, In Style, Modern Bride, Bridal Guide, Elegant Bride, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Knot, TimeOut and Vogue to name a few. In 2004 Vogue named Ron the number one best baker and Martha Stewart’s favorite baker.Many books have highlighted his cakes including Vera Wang on Weddings, Kate Manchester’s The Perfect Wedding Cake, Bette Matthews’ For Your Wedding – Cakes, and Joan Hamburg’s City Weddings. Zagat Survey’s have published glowing reviews on Ron’s confections for the past six consecutive years. His personae and operation have been thinly disguised as a feature character in the New York Times’ bestselling novel Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella. In 2011 Ron became host and judge of the hit show Sweet Genius, which recently aired its third season on the Food Network domestically and abroad. Learn More About Ron Ben-Israel at


1) How did you become a Master Pastry Chef ?

Ron Ben-Israel: The title was given to me by @ICCedu The International Culinary Center (founded as the French Culinary Institute).  It’s a humbling title, one that I have to prove every day.

2) How did the idea for the TV Show “Sweet Genius” on @FoodNetwork come about?

Ron Ben-Israel: I was adamant about inspiration as the focal point as well as magic & surprises, which is what desserts are about.

3) What advice would you have for wedding pros wanting to be on TV?
Ron Ben-Israel: Be ready to play while working really really hard. It’s a bootcamp.

4) What are the major trends you see in wedding cakes & pastries this year?
Ron Ben-Israel: Invention, technique, uniqueness, & return to impressive sizes. In pastry, see the inventiveness of @DominiqueAnsel .

5) Now you were discovered by @MarthaStewart ? How did this come about?
Ron Ben-Israel: I displayed my work in a jewelry store window & Martha walked by. The rest was history!


6) How did @MarthaStewart encourage you to start your own business?
Ron Ben-Israel:  She was curious about the techniques I was developing & gave me positive feedback & tips. I learned about live TV from Martha!

7) What happened after @MarthaStewart took your cakes on the Oprah Winfrey show ?
Ron Ben-Israel: People started calling & asking me to make their cakes. For money!

8) What advice do you have for those wanting to start their own business?
Ron Ben-Israel: Get training from someone you admire & practice a lot on your own. My mentor is #BettyVanNorstrand .

9) How do you handle social media on a daily & weekly?
Ron Ben-Israel: There’s always something interesting to report on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram. I just try to stay open. I take photos & post notices as I can in between meeting clients, designing cakes, and producing decorations. It never ends!

Post by @TweetMyWedding “You tweet some great & fun stuff from cakes to galas for the hungry.”

Ron Ben-Israel:  Social media has a lot of power, including political and charitable. 

10) How & When did you purchase
Ron Ben-Israel: It was a gift from friends who didn’t think my full name would get any notice.

11) How has your Website & domain name helped with your business?
Ron Ben-Israel: It was impressively helpful before you could BUY placement in search engines.

12) How do you work with couples getting married in the first meeting?
Ron Ben-Israel: We discuss everything about the reception & than eat cake together.
13) Do you have any events or interesting projects coming up?
Ron Ben-Israel: So many interesting weddings as well as articles in @MarthaWeddings @CityHarvest & events

14) What would you like everyone to take away from this chat?
Ron Ben-Israel: It’s hard work – clients, design, execution – but it’s well worth it!


#WeddingMarket Questions From Twitter:
1. @amorojewelry How did you get into the wedding cake industry?
Ron Ben-Israel: I didn’t understand why wedding cakes were so tasteless. I took to making delicious cakes as a challenge.


2. @BridalBalance Wedding cakes are always lovely, but what do you think are the best alternatives to a cake?
Ron Ben-Israel: Why an alternative when wedding cakes could be the best dessert ever? Desserts are important, but don’t lend the same ceremonial feel as cutting a wedding cake!


3. @TweetMyWedding You handwork/ sculpting is amazing, do you ever dabble in other (non edible) art forms?Answer:
Ron Ben-Israel: I’m totally fulfilled working in a sweet edible medium, but I also like to decorate my home.


4. @FrillsBridal Do you ever disagree with clients on the vision for their cake? If so, how do you handle that?
Ron Ben-Israel: It’s a delicate balance, but I won’t accept a commission unless I believe in it and I won’t copy others’ cakes


5. @sarahjsmith29  How do you say “no” when brides want you to copy another?
Ron Ben-Israel: With conviction! And I always suggest to the client to seek the original creator, rather than copy someone’s else work.


6. @amorojewelry How do you guide brides to not be tacky with their cakes?
Ron Ben-Israel: One tries to be a power of example. Show your clients options that are tasteful and they’ll choose better.


7. @Sweetestevents_ What cake themes/styles are trending for 2014?
Ron Ben-Israel: Gray is the new black!!! And we’ve been returning to tall tall tall cakes.



8. @TweetMyWedding What does the ideal client do when coming to you for a cake? Bring “inspiration” or rely on your resume/ have faith..?
Ron Ben-Israel: It’s always a dialogue and a collaboration. I do ask for inspiration and try to get to know the client.


9. @BridalBalance Do you have a favorite cake or design you’re most proud of?
Ron Ben-Israel: I’m still stunned by the Lotos cake for an Indian-themed wedding I’ve made a few times.


10. @nilaholden Do you see differences in wedding cake trends between the US & UK?
Ron Ben-Israel: We have much more freedom to explore in the USA.


11. @nilaholden Any rising stars in the wedding cake industry that have caught your eye? 
Ron Ben-Israel: My students always amaze me!

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