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Ron Ben-Israel

Well Hello the Ron!

A few months ago, I went to visit my friend and former boss, cake baker extraordinaire, Ron Ben-Israel and his new beautiful space in Midtown Manhattan.  He has lots of light and SPACE! (Something he didn’t have in his former digs in SoHo.) He has spent years perfecting his craft and adding to his tool chest. His closet where he keeps the secrets of his trade was so organized and once again, allowed me to snap a picture to share it with you. You are about to be marveled and possibly a bit envious with all the tools of his trade. You can visit and learn more about Ron and his beautiful work by visiting his website. Thanks for sharing your closet Ron!Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

Here is what is in the closet:

  1. Ribbon
  2. Styrofoam centers
  3. Wire
  4. Foam
  5. Gel paste
  6. foam for rolling with a ball tool
  7. Candles
  8. Flower/leaf presses
  9. Cutters
  10. Dusting colors
  11. Wire racks
  12. Ball tools
  13. Kosher/edible color for painting/tinting for sugar flowers and fondant
  14. Floral tape
  15. Sugar flower storage containers
  16. Cake turntables
  17. Paint brushes
  18. sugar flower drying trays
  19. Packing tape
  20. RBI top tier cake tote
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Revisiting a blog post form one of my most FAVORITE projects at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes. The wedding cake we made for the Sex in the City 2 movie. Enjoy!!!

NYC Cake Girl

If you have seen Sex in the City 2, then you have seen the cake we made for the Anthony & Stamford’s wedding, it’s at the very beginning of the movie and they pan over it rather quickly, you don’t really get a full shot of the cake. (Today of course you will see a full shot, I like to share!)  It was a really great project to work on and we had the opportunity to design something completely over the top.

Beauty shot!

Some fun facts about this cake:

  • It took a staff of 9 people and 50 hours to put the cake together
  • The wedding cake stands at 6 feet 4 inches tall
  • The cake stand was a custom design and made out of acrylic
  • Approximately 4,100 Swarovski crystals were used, mainly using chandelier elements
  • The cake serves 485 guests
  • Retail cost is $32,000

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I create a lot of social media content for a lot of different peoples/companies. I have a few rules that I follow when I post on social media channels:

– ALWAYS use a watermark if you are a company. Your work is important and people should know who produced it. AND it is absolutely ok to share a watermark on a photo.

– ALWAYS use a clear photo. You are telling a story with one picture and it should be legible.

– Hash tags: many for Instagram and few for Facebook. (I do this for searchability and building followers.)

– Always credit other vendors/partners work. I do this for many reasons. People/Companies like to be acknowledged and it’s also a great way to see industry partnerships.

I chose to acknowledge the caterer because I thought their lunch was well presented and delicious.  I didn't have to...

I chose to acknowledge the caterer because I thought their lunch was well presented and delicious. I didn’t have to…

ok so HERE’s my GRIPE:

It has to do with crediting other partners/vendors work on your own photo. I’m all for giving accolades. What I don’t like is when a partner/company doesn’t reciprocate that with their own posts. What do I mean? When I post a photo of an event, I like to share the venue, planner, photographer, caterer etc. What drives me BATTY is when one of the vendors who work on the event posts a photo of the same celebration and does not acknowledge my partnership/work. But has the AUDACITY to point out if I do not acknowledge them. It’s called RECIPORICTY and it works both ways. Only in the past few years have people started giving a list of who their vendors are on events. It’s the friendly and right thing to do.

Like everyone else on Facebook, you see these little 40 second videos that looks so easy but you never try them.  I was intrigued by this little video that said you could make donuts with 2 ingredients. Too good to be true? Maybe.  Did I try it? Yes.  Was it the greatest donut ever? No. (That distinction goes to my friend Zac Young…)  Is it something fun for a rainy Saturday to do with the kids? ABSOLUTELY.

Here is the recipe…

Grands already made buttermilk biscuits and whatever oil you want to fry in.

Grands already made buttermilk biscuits and whatever oil you want to fry in.

Pat out dough and cut with your favorite cutter.

Pat out dough and cut with your favorite cutter.

Fry in a skillet. I used about a quarter inch of oil. ( I kept turning them so they wouldn't burn.)

Fry in a skillet. I used about a quarter inch of oil. ( I kept turning them so they wouldn’t burn.)

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I took 2 tablespoons of pre made frosting from the can and melted it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Dip your donut.

Now eat it! You can get really fun with different frosting flavors and sprinkles. Or you can pipe in your favorite jelly (mine is Aunt PJ's apple cider jelly) and dust with powdered sugar.

Now eat it! You can get really fun with different frosting flavors and sprinkles. Or you can pipe in your favorite jelly (mine is Aunt PJ’s apple cider jelly) and dust with powdered sugar.

 

I just wanted to try it out for fun.  It really was very easy and it’s probably something I will do with my nephew. 🙂

 

 

 

You know what’s fun about working in the events industry?  Being invited to tour different regions of our country to see how our industry counterparts do their thing. So for the next few days, I’m going to take you on a tour in one of the most beautiful parts of Massachusetts, the Berkshires.  Courtesy of the Berkshire Wedding Collective. We will be visiting event venues, meeting various industry professionals and taking in the fun sights of this magical landscape.  I’m staying at the beautiful Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort.

What a way to wake up, a gorgeous sunrise.

A wake up at the Cranwell Resort and Spa is a restful one, quiet and serene. The view matches the sentiment…a layer of fog greeted me over the mountains with the last bit of color peaking out from the tops of the trees.

 

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I even got to get in a workout with a beautiful view!

The golf course looks to be top notch…I have to get my Dad and Mom to come play out here. I think each hole has a better view than the other.   I took to my regular workout in the resorts fitness center. The equipment was top notch and had everything I needed to complete my arm workout for the day. Remember I mentioned the view? Well a little cardio and a sunrise was the perfect way to start my day.

 

My accommodations in the The Founders house.  I'm quite comfy in my room...

My accommodations in the The Founders house. I’m quite comfy in my room…

The Mansion at the Cranwell Resort where breakfast is served.

The Mansion at the Cranwell Resort where breakfast is served.

 

Breakfast in the mansion was delicious and the service is elegant, accommodating and friendly. (And they have my most favorite English Breakfast tea!!!)

Breakfast in the mansion was delicious and the service is elegant, accommodating and friendly. (And they have my most favorite English Breakfast tea!!!)

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Even though we are here at the end of the foliage season, The Cranwell is a must and I highly recommend the stay…

 

There is a new kind of sweet shop in town, it’s decadent, it’s chic and it’s hands on.  Voilà Chocolat opened its doors in December 2014 bringing a new experience to chocolate lovers young and old.  One of the creative partners behind this year-old venture is Master Chocolatier Christophe Toury. I met Christophe in the days when he worked for Jacques Torres Chocolates and I worked for Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.  And with this new venture, Christophe is bringing Chocolate to a new level. We all love to eat chocolate (if you don’t, I’m not sure if we can be friends…) and now it can be your own creative experience.

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Voilà had their fall open house last night and I was happy to be on the guest list. We had delicious sips of Prosecco, a bit of caviar and were able to try all the delicious truffles Voilà makes.

My favorite was the peanut butter with pop rocks...adult flavor with a festive finish. Christophe figured out how to make a chocolate chic and fun at the same time.

My favorite was the peanut butter with pop rocks…adult flavor with a festive finish. Who knew chocolate could be chic and fun at the same time.

 

My second favorite truffle of the evening was the Caramel & Fleur de Sel. (in the front row)

My second favorite truffle of the evening was the Caramel & Fleur de Sel. (in the front row)

Voilà offers 9 different experiences at a variety of price points. Reservations are always welcome but if you happen to be in the neighborhood you can pop in for some chocolate making fun.  You get to choose your ingredients and learn various chef techniques.  And, your chocolates get wrapped up in Voilà’s elegant packaging.  You can also host a special event in their beautiful shop. (Can we say birthday party? How fun would that be!!!)

You can go in a buy Voila's delicious truffles or you can learn how to make them! They have all the fixins' to make each and everyone of the truffles you handcraft unique.

You can go in and buy Voilà’s delicious truffles or you can learn how to make them! They have staff on hand to help you create and all the fixins’ to make each and everyone of the truffles you handcraft unique.

 

Congrats Christophe on this very exciting journey. Stay tuned for my chocolate making experience...

Congrats Christophe on this very exciting journey. Stay tuned for my own chocolate making experience…

Their beautiful atelier is located on the upper west side in NYC on 79th Street a 1/2 block from the 1 train or visit Voilà on the web.

My baker, Ron has been following crochet artist London Kaye on Instagram and reached out to her to see if she would be interested in a doing some sort of collaboration. She enthusiastically said yes. And thus their unique partnership was discussed and then executed…

A classically trained dancer who found her love of crochet at the age of 13, she figured out that she could foray her passion of yarn into art. Two years ago, she took on a 20-day challenge (that turned into 50 days) to find that something special with her crocheting. It’s called “yarn bombing”, her project started with covering a tree and then she took to the city landscape with her whimsical creations.

Her 20 (50) challenge started with covering trees in colorful yarn, it then escalated into something so much more.  (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

Her 20 (50) day challenge started with covering trees in colorful yarn, it then escalated into something so much more. (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

Checkout her Instagram for more pictures of her journey.  (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

Checkout her Instagram for more pictures of her journey. (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

This is one of my favorite installations. (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

This is one of my favorite installations. (photos courtesy of London Kaye)

I asked London what the favorite part of this project was for her, and it was the challenge of crocheting something round. To test her skills even further she actually crocheted the color portion of the cake blind folded. She loves using vibrant colors in various textures of yarn. Both artists appreciate color and texture in each of their mediums, which why this was a no-brainer for a partnership.

Ron gave London a blank display cake.  (The “cake” is round sections of Styrofoam covered in fondant that is dried.) She made all of her measurements and crocheted everything first and brought everything in sections.

Ron gave London a blank display cake. (The “cake” is round sections of Styrofoam covered in fondant that is dried.) She made all of her measurements and crocheted everything first and brought everything in sections.

She then hand applied each section with hot glue.

She then hand applied each section with hot glue.

We put London amongst the other cake artists in Ron’s studio.  It was nice to see both working in their elements.

We put London amongst the other cake artists in Ron’s studio. It was nice to see both working in their elements.

Remember, the colored sections of this cake were crocheted blindfolded!  Like Ron, not only does she use bold colors fro drama, but loves to use various kinds of yarn to add texture and interest to her installations.

Remember, the colored sections of this cake were crocheted blindfolded! Like Ron, not only does she use bold colors for drama, but loves to use various kinds of yarn to add texture and interest to her installations.

The finished cake!

The finished cake!

London is such a clever artist.  Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Facebook to see where her next installations will take place. Thank you London for taking the time to chat while you were working.

London is such a clever artist. Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Facebook to see where her next installations will take place. Thank you London for taking the time to chat while you were working.

I had the pleasure of photographing London’s last hour of the project at Ron’s studio. She happily chatted with me while finishing her masterpiece. Keep your eyes out for this one, her creations pop up in the most unexpected places in our city’s landscape and she really adds a bit of whimsy and imagination to some unexpected places in our city.

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