One woman in the US is making waves online with her crazy, intricate, too-gorgeous-to-eat pies. Meet Lauren Ko: an executive assistant to the chancellor at Seattle Colleges who took up baking with zero professional pastry-making experience.
This 30-year-old launched an Instagram account (@lokokitchen) in August to showcase her pies, sharing photos of her amazing creations along with funny, food-related captions. And in just 4 months, she has already garnered over 93,000 followers, with each post getting tens of thousands of likes.
With having a full-time job, Ko usually bakes on weekends and week nights after work. She credits her interest to coming from a family that loves to eat, with many phenomenal and inspiring home cooks.
“I have a lot of memories growing up of being in the kitchen and baking with my mom or watching my grandmother cook. I do really enjoy cooking and baking, so have continued to do it on my own since," she said in a recent Mashable article.
Not for the faint of tart.Eva from @bakestreet did this incredible weave with bread and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Her video tutorial made this gory Halloween variation unboolievably accessible. @bakingamoment’s chocolate pie crust with a jammy strawberry-cherry-raspberry filling. | Quería intentar el diseño que hizo @bakestreet con pan pero yo con una tarta (masa de tarta de chocolate por @bakingamoment). Gracias por el excelente vídeo, Eva—fue súper fácil seguir. Acá tienen tarta tipo Halloween de fresa-cereza-frambuesa.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Ko briefly talked about her process, saying, “I usually have some nebulous idea in my head for design and then just improvise as I go along, depending on how well the dough or fruit cooperates with my vision. My final products are generally happy accidents, which is why I'm especially stunned by the feedback.”
More than sweets the eye.@food52’s Sweet Potato Pie with a PURPLE sweet potato twist! A spudderly fun and colorful option for the Thanksgiving table among the traditional golden, orangey hues. A tutorial for constructing this crust will be out sometime this week. Keep an eye on my stories for the exciting details!
Together, we are inquinceapple.There’s a contingent out there with v strong feelings about the fact that I don’t *always* publish post-bake photos to my feed (keep an eye on my stories!). No, the crust designs are never as precise afterwards (I’m not butter sorceress @karinpfeiffboschek). Yes, this clearly means I’m a fraud.#yeahbutwhatdoesitlooklikebaked is now our favorite joke to throw around at home (find yourself a nice troll/bae tho). Brb, getting bumper stickers printed for Christmas.
According to Mic.com, Ko started out using frozen pie crusts from the supermarket, but now takes the time to make her own. With each stunning sculpted pie, she often plays with geometric shapes and colorful ingredients, creating elaborate crusts that can take up to five hours to make.
Lost for curds.Cranberry curd tart with persimmon tangrams. Three months ago, I started @lokokitchen to separate all my dopey food photos from my personal account. And by some stroke of wild internet magix, here we are.I’m perpetually shocked, a bit overwhelmed (omg, I can’t keep up...sorry if I’ve missed your tags/comments!), but mostly just really grateful. There are legitimate food legends advocating for me, strangers from all over the world cheering me on, and a deep reserve of family and friends so generously sharing their expertise and resources to propel me on what is now a real journey. I’m truly just a humble nerd puttering around in her home kitchen.Thank you for your enthusiasm and excitement. Pie’m so thankful you’re here.
Go boldly where no cran has gone before.Preempt any holiday piesaster and snag a bushel of plump, fragrant, and most notably, high in pectin cranberries from @paradise_meadow_cranberries for a guaranteed jammy filling. Last year, I brought an overly juicy, undercooked pie to Thanksgiving dinner and had to sit by mortified as my in-laws politely insisted on eating their slices, oozing raw bottoms and all. Crust me, it was a dough blow. SAVE YOURSELVES FROM IMPENDING DOOM—do what you cran, do what is pieght.#sponsored
Baby, it’s gold outside.When time is limited (that 8-5 grind, amirite?) and the weather outside is actually frightful, I’m constrained to the ingredients in my fridge. Not sure there are many pomegranate goldenberry tarts out there...especially not ones that accidentally embody a vague bacon aesthetic. Don’t forget to peep my story takeover @food52! My purple sweet potato pie crust tutorial (and #pundercover treasure hunt) is only up for a limited time!
“I baked my first pie a little over a year ago when I saw some really beautiful images on Pinterest and was curious if I could do it, too,” she said. “I do try really hard to produce original designs. Fancy pies are totally having a moment and there are real food legends making amazing stuff, but I haven’t really seen anyone create the kind of geometric designs that I do until now.”