I Turned the Fat Jew Into a Human Cake
When the Fat Jew visited my Brooklyn pastry kitchen, we naturally gravitated towards discussing consuming kale in private places and eating desserts off Rob Lowe. But then, the inevitable happened, when I turned him into a human cake.
Photo by Henry Hargreaves
Welcome back to our new column from Flour Shop baker Amirah Kassem, where she asks twelve questions—with one extra for good measure—to a variety of international innovators. Since the author insists that she could never get to know anyone without imagining their dreams in frosting form, her column's aim is to help them have their cake and eat it too.
When I first saw a picture of The Fat Jew, a.k.a Josh Ostrovsky, sitting in a bathtub full of cheeseburgers, I instantly realized we'd be friends. "I don't know how to tell people I invented food in bathtubs," he tells me after I bring this up. "I see chicks in tubs with Fruit Loops now and I want to say, that's me, I started it." Fat Jew is, as he says, "heavy food-interactive," and an Instagram and Internet sensation celebrity, famous for his upright ponytail and obscene humor.
We sat down to talk about all things pastry and inevitably gravitated towards discussing drinking gluten, consuming kale in private places, seasonally themed bar mitzvahs, and licking icing off of Rob Lowe. When I asked him what his dream dessert was, he told me it was to be turned into a cake himself, so I invited him to my kitchen in Williamsburg. Flour Shop is all about making dreams come true.
"I'm actually surprised I've never been frosted before," Josh Ostrovsky, a.k.a. The Fat Jew, told me. "How many people have you frosted?" The answer is none, and the experience was one-of-a-kind for both of us.
MUNCHIES: Wait, how did we meet again? The Fat Jew: Through mutual friends?
Oh actually I think it was an Instagram/mutual friends type of situation, but I once bombarded you while delivering a cake. It started on the 'Net'. Where did I see you, outside the Jane?
Yes! I was late to deliver a cake and I threw my sugar packet business card at you. Yes, it was a soft toss of a sugar packet on your way out, and I was like, "I guess I have to contact you now."
OK, let's get down to business. What was your favorite childhood food that your mom made? I grew up in NYC's Upper West Side, and my mom could braid a mean challah bread—like a very, very, mean challah.
So could she braid your hair into a challah? No! I should have a thick ass challah braid. I want one giant loaf on my head.
We can try that next time. What do you like to eat at the movies? I like to keep it really tasteful at the movies. They're like, "don't bring food in," but I'm like, "you can't hold me!" I like to eat really high-end at the movies. I go in with gazpacho, a Parmesan scone—something artisanal. But now movie theaters are starting to serve high-end shit like gazpacho, so I don't think I can do it anymore. I'm gonna go all the way back around and eat the worst shit ever—like trash, actual garbage. Scoop stuff off the floor. I invented movie artisanal! I was eating lamb ragu in the theater. I would bring a whole ziti in the movies in a Pyrex dish.
I definitely wanna sit next to you at the movies. Yeah, I'm a good person to sit next to.
What's your secret dessert or guilty pleasure? Kale. When you're the Fat Jew, you can only eat healthy in the dark under the bed. That's where I can try quinoa.
That's where I sneak in Sweetgreen. Yeah, I'm under the bed thinking, I've never had an acai berry! I've never had a superfood!
If you could share your favorite dessert with anyone, who would it be? Rob Lowe.
But if you could eat dessert off anyone, who's the lucky person(s)? Rob Lowe.
Makes sense. I've noticed that pizza's all over your Instagram. What's your favorite slice? I like a real '80s slice. The shit that no one fucks with anymore. I'll put pineapple on a slice.
Is there a specific place that you like? No one particular slice—all my shit is custom. I like strips of leather. I want my pizza slices very fancy.
That sounds dope. So what kind of cake did you have at your bar mitzvah? My bar mitzvah theme has become a big running joke. Up until I was 15, I was basically super put-together and I'd wear really fancy shit. My parents were like, what do you want your theme to be? Baseball? Michael Jordan? And I was like, "I want it to be autumn." My parents were like, "you don't want it to be baseball?" I was like, "no, autumn is the most beautiful time of year, it inspires me."
What month is your birthday in? Late March. Not even close to autumn! My cake was a giant, beautiful leaf, and there were cornucopias in the centerpiece. My Russian dad was like, "why is this happening?"
If you could do it all over again, what would your theme be? Autumn. I wouldn't change a thing. Or Rob Lowe.
I'd be down for an autumn party in the spring. I've been getting so many requests for gluten-free cakes lately. That sucks—everything about that. Do they make liquid gluten that I can drink? I will cannonball into a jacuzzi full of gluten.
Not that I know of, but I could probably make that happen! Are you a savory or sweet breakfast person? Savory. I'm super-breakfast sandwich. I try to keep it scummy the whole day, but I take breakfast super fancy. I'll make a frittata. Actually, I'm really embracing the fact that I still can't believe there's no parents around. I eat anything for breakfast just as a fuck you. I will drink the contents of this lava lamp. No, you parents! Don't tell me what to do.
What's one sweet thing you hate that people find weird? I'm kind of a human garbage can, so not that much. Just straight up water. Water is so wack—so disgusting—I don't fuck with it. I'm like a Dominican teenager: I'll come through drinking a soda at any time. I haven't drank water in six months.
I heard you once got kicked off the red carpet for smelling Carrie Underwood's hair. Is that true? Yes! It was the Grammys. I was interviewing people and I took her hair into my hands as she was interviewing someone else and said, "is this Paul Mitchell?" And boom, I just got rolled up on by a security guard. I was in a Speedo and Timberlands and a long silk kimono, and they removed me and drove me mad far and dropped me off in a Speedo in the middle of the hood. I had no cellphone because I had no pockets, and I was in the hood in a Speedo and kimono with no phone, just wandering around for hours.
Did her hair smell like fresh apple pie? No! It smelled like a stew. A weird stew. Like a Polish family's house, or washing your hair with chili.
What's your favorite ice cream? I'm so into mint, but not the weird white mint—the bright fluorescent green mint, the brightest green. I want something that's gonna give me diabetes immediately. I'm not down with high-end ice cream, blue cheese vinaigrette, lavender rose—chill! I don't want my ice cream to smell like my grandma fresh out the shower.
If you had to create an ice cream flavor with two ingredients, what would they be? Axe body spray and lychee nut. Basically so I smell like a shitty nightclub.
What's your dream cake? The cake I want most is me, frosted. I want to be a human cake.
Let's make your cake dreams come true!