Practically overnight, Lauren Ko went from executive assistant-writer-artist to Instagram culinary queen. With zero professional pastry training or experience, Ko launched herself to social media stardom with her first breath-taking pie post @lokokitchen in 2017. Ko grew up in a family of foodies—watching her mother and grandmother bake, though neither of them made pies. Her pie making began out of a desire to find pie recipes that were in line with her personal visual aesthetic. Most of the recipes Ko found online were beautiful, but very floral and feminine, and she wanted to create something more abstract.
Her inspiration ranges from architecture and string art to wicker purses and bathroom tiles. “I’ll see someone walking down the street with a cool shirt and file that away in my memory bank,” says Ko. “Anything with geometric shapes and straight lines catches my eye because they’re easiest for me to replicate with dough and fruit.”
A couple of times a week, Ko reveals a new pie or tart that’s a gorgeous canvas of intricate line work or a design of precisely cut and arranged produce. Maybe more unbelievable: none of her creations are pre-drawn or planned.
Ko bakes in the mornings (cooler temps for handling dough and better light for photography), teaches pie workshops around her hometown Seattle, and of course updates her Instagram. She does not ever sell her pies or have plans to open a bakery any time soon. Anything she makes, Ko happily sends off to friends and family for consumption. I’ll gladly take one, but it might be too beautiful to eat!
By Hannah F
Senior Art Director