When it comes to baking, most people either love it or hate it. For those who find joy in rolling out dough and carefully leveling off cups of flour, it’s definitely more of a love affair. Bakers find happiness in the kitchen and delight in whipping up delicious confections for themselves and others.
Then again, some bakers don’t just enjoy making things that taste amazing. They take it to the next level.
Lauren Ko is one such talented lady who knows her way around a rolling pin. She elevates her kitchen creations to a form of art, and her baked goods have to be seen to be believed.
Knowing our way around a kitchen is pure survival for most of us. Nailing down the basics of making a sandwich, boiling an egg, or figuring out how much spaghetti is too much can be the difference between eating or starving to death. Still, unless hitting up a restaurant every day is financially doable for you, you have to be able to wing cooking basics if you’re going to make it in the world.
Unlike trying to simmer a sauce to perfection or seer pork chops in a pan until they’re done but not too done, baking is more of a science. You mix specific amounts of ingredients and pop everything in the oven at a particular temperature for a set amount of time. Even if a person isn’t into cooking an eight-course meal, hand them a Betty Crocker box that lists three ingredients and as many steps, and they just might find baking doable.
No matter how easy the recipe or simple the ingredient list, there will always be people who have no interest in whipping up anything in the kitchen. Some of us will always prefer the food-making — whether savory or sweet dishes — to the enthusiasts.
Some people find their true calling amid pots, pans, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, and paring knives. These individuals find true joy in testing out new recipes. You know, those awesome folks who bring delicious cakes and cookies to the office to share and invite us over to try out amazing spreads for dinner. In short, they’re the friends we can’t wait to hang out with.
There are those who love to bake and are good at it, and then there are supremely gifted culinary artists who transform food into art. Chefs who can take simple ingredients and build them into dishes and desserts that are breathtakingly beautiful. You might see one of their creations and think it’s almost too beautiful to eat.
Pies aren’t generally something we think of when someone says, “art,” but thanks to Lauren Ko, that’s exactly what she’s turned the delicious desert into. Her Instagram account has recently taken off as word spread about her amazing talent for pie design. Now that we’ve had an eyeful of what Ko’s been making, we totally see what all the hubbub is about.
Although Ko says that she’s been baking her entire life, making pies and sharing them online is a recent development. In fact, she’s only been at this for a year, which is what makes her viral success even more thrilling.
She says she does a lot of improvising: “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.”
Like anyone else, Ko has a regular day job as an assistant to the chancellor at Seattle Colleges, so concocting her pie art is reserved for the weekends. Yep, while most of us are binge-watching Netflix, this talented lady is grabbing what’s on hand and baking things that stun the internet.
“What I create during a particular baking session is also often informed by produce that is in season and what’s currently in my fridge,” she says.
It’s a well-timed combination of talent and wit that’s helped propel Ko’s fabulous Instagram pie account to stardom. Confections like this one titled “Starry Nut” show that the talented baker can not only weave dough into representations of famous paintings, she can make her audience laugh along as well.
If you’re thinking what we are, then yes — chicken pot pie has never looked so good. Turns out, Ko isn’t all about making sweet baked goods. And unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how they look at it), her loved ones have to take on the leftovers.
She says, “I actually prefer savory foods over sweets and my husband has definitely reached oversaturation in regards to pie, so I force my creations on nearby friends and family.”
Following Ko on social media is one thing, but if you’re lucky enough to be a close friend, expect others to be jealous (including us). Of get-togethers, she says, “If you invite me over to your house, I’m probably coming with a pie or two in hand.”
One thing’s for sure — we can’t wait to see this fabulous baker go far, and given the chance, we’ll be snapping up one of her creations faster than you can say “Vincent Van Dough.”