It’s safe to say that the power of pie has changed Lauren Ko’s life. Not even she could have predicted that after creating an Instagram account to document her attempt at amateur pie-making, her hypnotizing designs would revolutionize the entire pie industrial complex. Within five months she has found herself with 120,000 followers and countless copycats.
We managed to cook up an interview with the internet’s favorite dessert-maker, Lokokitchen.
Hey Lauren! Making the most beautiful pies in the world seems kind of like your superpower. What do you do professionally during the Clark Kent portion of your day?
Until a few weeks ago, I was an Executive Assistant in the higher education space. I am now working full-time to build the Lokokitchen brand.
How long have you been making pies?
I made my first pie about a year and a half ago. I had just moved to Seattle and had some extra time on my hands while I searched for a job. After seeing images of beautiful pies on Pinterest, I wanted to try my hand at a creation. The plaid lattice pie on my feed was the pie I made.
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But kiwi see it baked? | @evakosmasflores’ Blueberry Lemon Olive Oil Curd Tart with hand-cut green and gold kiwi tiles. | A small note of clarification: every other @lokokitchen post is a tart, which generally means that what you see IS the finished and baked version. Cheers and thanks for following along! You’re incurdible.
Who are your culinary heroes and inspirations?
I grew up in a family of phenomenal cooks, bakers, and eaters – my maternal grandmother being the foremost among them. To this day, her meals – always feast-like in abundance and everything crafted from scratch – are my inspiration to spread love and light through food.
How long do your stunning confections take to prepare?
The preparation time for my pies and tarts can range anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the intricacy of the design. A 6-hour venture is not necessarily all active time though. Some of the waiting involves the pie chilling in the fridge post-design and pre-bake.
Talk us through one of your process, from conception to execution.
My general process for making pie is: Make the pie dough and chill in the fridge for several hours (usually overnight). After the dough has been chilled, roll out the bottom pie crust and lay in a pie plate. Assemble the pie filling and scoop into the pie. Keep in the fridge while the top crust is prepared. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips. Weave or arrange the dough on top of the pie in the desired design, and place the entire pie back into the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Egg wash the top of the pie and bake until the filling is bubbling.
I'm inspired by pattern and color, so I keep a Pinterest board of geometric patterns, textiles, and architecture images, which I scroll through for inspiration when I'm ready to construct the top crust design. I never draw things out and rarely plan designs in advance. Most of the finished products are a result of going with the flow and sometimes, they're simply creative "accidents."
Who ends up getting to eat these?
I share most of the pies and tarts with friends and family. My husband and I have definitely reached over-saturation, so we often try to get the goods out of the house as quickly as possible!
What do you think is your best pie to date?
I think the blueberry pie with the geometric design of lines arranged around a center circle has become my Lokokitchen signature. It's really crazy to put something out on the internet to then see a wave of bakers replicating the design in their own baking sessions. So fun.
How does it feel to see such a large community of followers loving what you're doing?
The positive response to Lokokitchen has been mind-blowing. Considering I started the account five months ago mainly as a way to store my food photos, never intending it to go beyond an audience of family and friends, and it is now registering around 122K followers...it's completely wild. I'm so grateful for the kindness and enthusiasm people have responded with, and I'm excited to continue creating.
What's the best pie you've ever eaten besides your own?
I generally prefer savory foods over sweet, so I actually don't eat a ton of pie. But I recently had a chicken pot pie at Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop in Maui that was really comforting and delicious. I also did a collaboration with pie queen Kate McDermott and got to try her Comice Pear Pie, and her pie crust is unreal.
Thank you so much, Lauren!
You can (and should!) follow Laura along on her pie-making adventures on Instagram @lokokitchen.