About the Host and Judges
Jonathan Bennett Before his breakout role as Aaron Samuels in the hit movie Mean Girls, Jonathan Bennett launched his career on the small screen. After getting his start starring in the Emmy Award-winning series All My Children, Jonathan appeared on Law & Order: SVU, Smallville and Veronica Mars. In addition to his work on television, he has starred in many leading motion pictures, including Love Wrecked, The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, Cheaper by the Dozen and National Lampoon's Van Wilder: Freshman Year. He added executive producer to his resume with the films Authors Anonymous, Pawn and Submerged, in which he also starred. Recently he garnered national attention as a competitor on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, where he won "Fan Favorite." Jonathan currently serves as host of the Food Network series Cake Wars.
Ron Ben-Israel As chef-owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, one of the country’s finest couture cake studios, Ron Ben-Israel has made cakes that have been hand-delivered to destinations throughout the continental U.S. and abroad. Ron started his confectionery adventures after a 15-year career as a professional modern dancer. Upon retiring from performing with companies spanning three continents, he incorporated his art training, military background and ballet regime into the discipline of pastry arts. After Ron arrived in New York City, his cakes were discovered by Martha Stewart while on display in the windows of Mikimoto on Fifth Avenue. In 1999 he established his flagship design studio and bakery in Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood. Ron is a master pastry instructor at the International Culinary Center in New York City and has been awarded prestigious gold medals for his confectionery achievements.
Waylynn Lucas is an award-winning pastry chef who takes joy in marrying the nostalgia of classic sweets with modern and exciting flavor profiles and techniques. She currently owns and operates Fonuts, a new spin on the traditional coffee-and-doughnut shop. Her doughnuts are baked, not fried, and she also offers a selection of gluten-free and vegan products. This project stays true to her diverse and prestigious culinary pedigree, offering sweet and savory, from traditional to avant-garde. She has always had the entrepreneurial spirit and knew early on she wanted to be her own boss. She opened her first restaurant early on, while living in Costa Rica. She ran it successfully for years until she decided to sell it to move back to the States and further her culinary career.
Upon Waylynn's return to California, she worked as pastry chef of SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and as the patisserie at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Here Waylynn experimented with many different cooking techniques, from traditional to very modern. While working at The Bazaar, she received her first four-star review. Later Waylynn further refined her trademark style as the executive pastry chef of Patina, Joachim Splichal’s fabled Michelin-starred restaurant that also received a Los Angeles Times four-star review while Waylynn was pastry chef, making her the only pastry chef in Los Angeles to have ever earned two four-star reviews.
Waylynn is currently a judge on the Food Network series Cake Wars. In 2013 she appeared on Bravo's Eat. Drink. Love., which showcased the lives of five successful businesswomen in Los Angeles all working and making their way in the predominantly male-run food industry. She was a permanent adviser on the first season of CNBC's Restaurant Startup, consulting with new entrepreneurs who wanted to start their own business within the food world and hoped to win an investment from two culinary experts, Joe Bastianich and Tim Love.
Waylynn continues to expand and grow her business, spreading into other realms of the restaurant and food industry: teaching kids to bake, planning on opening multiple new businesses in Los Angeles, and consulting with local restaurants to develop and expand their dessert menus.