Snap, crackle, pop!

Jewish chef creates art out of Rice Krispies Treats

ricekrispies image
Some of Jessica Siskin’s favorite creations represent iconic Jewish foods.

Eight years ago, Jessica Siskin had no idea that making a Rice Krispies Treat surfboard for a friend's birthday would lead to a career recreating food, animal portraits, and fine art of the popular cereal.

Each of Siskin's creations starts by making the treats with the recipe on the side of the box. Then, it's time to add food coloring, spray cooking spray on her hands, and mold the treats to make the shape she's imagining.

"For the most part now, I just wing it, I've had enough practice that I know how things are going to turn out," said Siskin--but sometimes, "it's definitely a challenge."

"I've learned over time and am not afraid to fix my mistakes," Siskin added. "In the worst case, you have a snack to eat, so it never goes to waste! I never drive myself too crazy to be perfect."

By the end of the process, which can take anywhere from half an hour to over two hours, each of Siskin's projects fits on a 14- by 19-inch cake board and can feed 15 to 20 people. One box of Rice KrispiesTreats can make up to four projects, and then it's time to buy more cereal--and share photos on her Instagram, misterkrisp, where she has 67,800 followers who form an active community of enjoying what she has made and requesting new ideas.

Before the pandemic, most of Siskin's business came from creating pieces for her customers' birthdays, anniversaries, pet celebrations, and other holidays. Nowadays, she has changed her focus to create things she is inspired by in the everyday world.

"I try to stay on the pulse of pop culture, which comes naturally to me having grown up along with social media in the past decade," said Siskin, who has created representations of emojis, memes, and popular movie moments in addition to famous art like the Mona Lisa , Van Gogh's Starry Night , and Michaelangelo's David .

Some of her favorite projects are representations of food, such as traditionally Jewish foods like matzoh ball soup, bagels with lox and cream cheese, and holiday foods like apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah.

As her popularity grew on Instagram, with many followers commenting that they wanted to learn how she made art out of cereal, Siskin published Treat Yourself! in 2017. The book features 93 of Siskin's creations that her fans often share after they make them at home.

Since discovering Rice Krispies Treat molding and founding misterkrisp, Siskin has loved leading a creative life. "The most rewarding parts for me have been being able to have a creative job, building a community online and realizing how many other people want to be creative or appreciate creative work, and realizing how nice people are," she said.

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