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Frosted by Navah
Photograph: Courtesy of Instagram/frostedbynavah

This New York pianist makes cakes that look like real flowers

Navah Perlman Frost bakes the beautiful creations in her Upper West Side kitchen.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

It is a rare life occurrence to excel in a career so much that even folks outside your industry know of your work. It's even less common to lead not one but two successful careers in the span of a lifetime. And yet, that is exactly what 51-year-old New Yorker Navah Perlman Frost has been able to do.

A trained, professional pianist—and the daughter of superstar Israeli-American violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman—Frost started creating fanciful botanical cakes and cupcakes during the pandemic.

"I have always been a hobby baker and, like so many other people, I started going a bit stir crazy when everything shut down," she says. "All things related to performances were put on a hard stop. I have kids living at home but they're older, independent teenagers so I decided to take a few online classes." Fast-forward a few months and a new Instagram account set up by said children and Frost has turned her hobby into a legitimate—and very busy—business named Frosted by Navah.

Her decision wasn't entirely catalyzed by a life-shattering pandemic. "As my kids were growing, my lifestyle as a musician was tugging at me," she recounts. "It involves a lot of traveling and being away from home and it's hard to do that when you want to be an involved parent. I even think I was unconsciously dialing back before COVID-19 happened."

Frost bakes her visually striking creations, which look like actual flower bouquets, in the kitchen of the Upper West Side apartment that she shares with her very supportive husband ("the best leader of the focus group of all flavors," she says jokingly) and their four kids. Although she does enlist the help of a delivery service, New Yorkers are also welcome to pick up their orders directly from her and therefore avoid delivery fees. 

The menu is a purposefully simple one: three-layer cakes range in size between 6 and 10 inches and in price between $85 and $150. Cupcakes are also on offer and, depending on how many a customer orders, the price lands somewhere between $80 and $160. Custom creations and special requests are available as well—but you're going to have to give Frost enough time to work on them. 

The business woman estimates that she works on between 9 and 12 orders each week. On average, a cake can take her over 8 hours (have you seen the intricacies and details involved in the making of each flower?). Do the math and you'll understand why she asks potential customers to place orders as early as they can.

As different as Frost's two careers may appear at first, the artist/baker notes that both playing the piano and making cakes involve a level of creativity and beauty that other activities might not. "They are two very different things but they both involve creating something of beauty," she says. 

Perhaps even more obviously, both jobs require the kind of hand-related skills that mere mortals usually can't claim as their own. Those are the sorts of people that most readily revel in Frost's music and her delectable cakes.

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