A Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Where Ron Ben-Israel’s Cake-Making Magic Happens
We’ve been working with the NYC pastry chef for 20 years, featuring his showstopping confections—but don’t you wonder how these cakes actually get made? Recently, Ron moved into a new space in midtown Manhattan and invited Martha Stewart Weddings’ Darcy Miller and her daughters to visit. (Oh, the perks of being on spring break when your mom is Editorial Director of MSW!) Here, an inside look at the artist’s workshop.
A Warm Welcome
This is the area where Ron meets with clients and greeted Darcy and her daughters upon their arrival.
The new workshop has amazing supply closets, this one filled with food coloring, ribbon, and floral tape. He is so organized!
Lots of Color
Pick your palette. These are containers of food coloring neatly arranged by hue.
On this shelf is an assortment of not-your-average rolling pins.
The pastry chef keeps a variety of cake molds on hand, including those for creating flower and chandelier shapes.
Here, Ron showed a container of edible sparkle pigment in sapphire blue.
Garden of His Own
An entire area of sugar flowers, organized in bins, literally makes the place look like a flower shop!
The group got a close-up look at some sugar flowers on a table where the edible art is created.
The man himself showed off a sugar flower.
Another table was filled with freshly sculpted, hand-painted sugar rose leaves. (Can you believe these are made of sugar?)
Art Deco Dessert
Here, a member of Ron’s talented staff was creating a geometric cake pattern using no cutters, no stencils, and no templates.
A Fine-Tuned Machine
In the spotless kitchen, housing the tools, ovens, and walk-in fridge, hang the current orders and a very detailed schedule of employees’ daily duties.
Layers Upon Layers
An endless supply of stacked cake boards and dowels are handy.
Darcy and her girls learned why a three-layer cake doesn’t collapse and then saw the huge boxes that package these creations.
Round baking pans are sorted by size on the shelves.
In the refrigerator, cakes are stored for everything from tastings to weddings.
Nothing like cake for lunch! Ron treated Darcy and her daughters to a sampling of his cakes.
Of course, the slices were almost too beautiful to eat!
Sharing the Love
Darcy’s youngest, Pippa, gave Ron a bite of cake, too.
Ron showed off one of the handkerchief cakes he created for a Martha Stewart Weddings story, a favorite of Darcy’s.
The best part of the day for Darcy was, of course, being with Ron. “He is as incredible as his cakes taste and look,” she says. “He’s funny, warm, and you usually get a little dance move—did you know he was a ballet dancer in his former life?”