Ron Ben-Israel

Ron Ben-Israel
OccupationPastry chef,
Host of Sweet Genius,
Judge on Cake Wars

Ron Ben-Israel is an Israeli-American 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 to 2013, he hosted the cooking competition TV show Sweet Genius. Ron has also been a judge on a variety of Food Network shows, including Cake Wars, Chopped, Guy's Grocery Games and Worst Cooks in America.[1]

Early life

Ben-Israel was born in Israel. 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.[2]

Ben-Israel grew up in Tel Aviv. He loved baking in the kitchen as a child. He attended the Thelma Yellin High School for the Arts, specializing in dance.[2]

Dancing career

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[2] over a period of some 15 years, and toured internationally. Near the end of his dancing career, he moved to the United States.[1]

Baking career

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

From 2011 to 2013, Ben-Israel was 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.[citation needed]

Ben-Israel appeared as a guest judge on Season 2 of the Netflix Baking-parody show Nailed It!. He has also appeared as a guest judge on Season 3 of Netflix's Sugar Rush[7] and on Food Network's .[8]


He is an active member of City Harvest Food Council, a New York food rescue organization.[9][failed verification][10][failed verification]

Personal life

Ben-Israel is gay.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Ron Ben Israel Bio". Food Network.
  2. ^ a b c d Handwerker, Haim (October 12, 2011). "Taking the Cake". Haaretz. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Strong, Sarah. "An Interview With Ron Ben-Israel". The Chef's Connection. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ron Ben-Israel took Martha Stewart's advice". Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "Deans and Master Chefs of The International Culinary Center, Ron Ben-Israel, Visiting Master Pastry Chef-Instructor". Archived from the original on October 27, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Sweet Genius" – via
  7. ^ Sullivan, James (August 10, 2020). "Amesbury couple competes on Netflix's 'Sugar Rush,' and it's no piece of cake". Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  8. ^ Samson, Frank (October 7, 2019), Monster Madness (Reality-TV), Ron Ben-Israel, Harry Eastwood, Eddie Jackson, Brad Smith, retrieved October 30, 2020
  9. ^ "Meet Our Food Council". City Harvest.
  10. ^ "Ron Ben-Israel | Wedding Cakes, Celebration Cakes, Designer Cakes, New York, Special Events".
  11. ^ Sabatini, Frank Jr. (May 18, 2012). "The Sweet Genius of Ron Ben-Israel". Gay San Diego. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2020.

External links