Peen Cuisine Mixes Food & Sex for Elevated Bachelorette Parties or Random Weekday Meals
MIKE O'DONNELL / EDITOR
When you gather around the table for some fine holiday dining this year, the conversation may naturally escalate into political warfare. But the food will probably more or less stick to the classics, whether that means a Christmas ham or whatever your family serves up each year. But things may be getting colorful from all angles at the Hom Household this season. WNW Member Lauren Hom recently launched another banger of a project: Peen Cuisine. She describes it as "elevated bachelorette party food" but that doesn't mean that she hasn't been getting help from her grandmother sampling some of the recipes before their respective launches. As Lauren tells us in our interview below, "Since I started cooking them from my grandma’s kitchen, there was no use hiding it from her. She thinks it’s funny and chuckled every time she checked in on me in the kitchen. My entire family even started asking to help eat the leftovers. At first, I’d rearrange or cut up the food so it wasn’t phallic out of respect for their boundaries, but now they just eat it in full peen-form and we all get a good laugh out of it."
Lauren also tells us what new skills and self-discoveries she's learned with this well-endowed endeavor: "I’ve learned that I’m a snickering 13-year-old boy on the inside, because I can’t help but giggle every time I make a new recipe. I’ve also learned how to style food and make things look as appetizing on camera as they do in real life. Sometimes adding a sprinkle of pepper or a fucking sprig of parsley really does the trick. I think my eye for design and composition really helped me out here."
Maybe as enjoyable as the perfectly art directed images themselves are the recipes matching their tone to perfection. Here's an excerpt from the "Cockamole and Chips" recipe: "Add 1 tablespoon of your reserved juice and then let those flavors sit for an hour to marinate. Make them beg for it." Or this one from Lauren's "Blueberry Creamed Puffs": "Spoon whipped cream into prepared pastry bag, and then fill each peen with a generous serving of cream. Like, ‘a sailor who’s just returned home’ generous."
One more thing from Lauren and her compatriot "Peen-Queens":
"P.S. We understand that dicks aren't everyone's jam, which is totally cool, but this blog is here to celebrate the men, women, and non-binary folks who are down with the D. We've got plans to test out some vagine cuisine in our kitchen very soon though, so stay tuned."
Tell us about your creative background. Who is Lauren Hom and how did she get here?
I’ve been a full-time hand lettering artist for the past three and a half years, but I actually started my creative career in advertising (which is how I met WNW founder Justin!). I studied advertising for four years, got a job at BBDO New York, but then my lettering career took off because of a viral side project I created called Daily Dishonesty. I left the ad world to take a shot on being a freelance letterer, and I never looked back. Even though I love lettering, my heart totally lies in coming up with interesting ideas for campaigns, so I always end up creating quirky side projects, like Peen Cuisine.
How would you describe your creative style? Do you recognize a signature style that links all your projects, or do you try to approach each project as its own entity?
I’d describe my creative style as playful, quirky, and weird. That applies to both my lettering and illustration style AND the theme and tonality of my personal projects. I try to infuse my work with as much of my authentic personality as possible, and I’m definitely a bit out there as a person so it’s not surprising to me that my work follows suit. While the mediums of my projects vary (I’ve done side projects that range from lettering to photography to food art), I think the common thread that links all of my projects is my personality and tone of voice.
What do you see as the turning point in your creative development and career?
Launching Daily Dishonesty for sure. I was a senior in college, and I started a Tumblr blog for fun...and then it took off on the internet (as things tend to do online). It surprised me completely, but it really launched my lettering career in ways I never imagined. It landed me a book deal, gained me 50K followers, and it got a ton of new eyes on my work. From there, all I had to do was keep the momentum going, which I happily put in the effort to do.
What was the inspiration behind your latest project Peen Cuisine?
Two years ago, I posted something on Instagram that said ‘foods before dudes’ and one of my followers commented ‘cuisine before peen’, which I thought was HILARIOUS. I made a mental note of it, and then a year ago I had the idea to combine my love of cooking with my talent for making sexual innuendo...and I had the perfect name in mind because of that comment! The inspiration also came from my friends and our senses of humor. We’re super raunchy, silly, and sex-positive, and I thought that food was a fun, disarming vehicle to talk about sexuality. So...Peen Cuisine was born!
What were some of the breakthroughs and challenges with this effort?
I started making recipes for the blog from my grandma’s kitchen in June 2017. I had just returned from a year and a half abroad, and my biggest challenge at first was testing recipes to make sure the food was both delicious AND phallic. When you search for bachelorette party recipes or phallic food, you pretty much get sausages, bananas, and pickles (gross). I wanted to flex my creative muscles and make food you’d ACTUALLY want to eat...just in peen form.
Another challenge was figuring out the tonality of the writing and photography. I wanted it to be raunchy and fun without ever being too crude. For example, cream coming out of the tip of a cream puff - way too gross. But rainbow sprinkles covering the balls of a cake pop? Hilarious. There was a fine line we had to experiment with. I worked with my friend and copywriter extraordinaire Lannie Hartley to pinpoint the right tone of voice, which mostly stemmed from the way I usually talk. I wanted it to feel like Ali Wong meets Ina Garten. I also showed the blog to a bunch of friends and got good feedback on what was working and what wasn’t. Since I wanted the blog to be inclusive, I made the decision to always write the recipes from a gender-neutral perspective so that men, women, and non-binary people who like peens could enjoy it.
Dark Chocolate Cock Pops
What have you learned about yourself and the culinary arts with this project?
I’ve learned that I’m a snickering 13-year old boy on the inside, because I can’t help but giggle every time I make a new recipe. I’ve also learned how to style food and make things look as appetizing on camera as they do in real life. Sometimes adding a sprinkle of pepper or a fucking sprig of parsley really does the trick. I think my eye for design and composition really helped me out here.
Were the innuendo-riddled recipes as fun to write as they are to read?
100000%. Again, it’s all one big dick joke at the end of the day.
This magazine is filter-free. Can you share any even more NSFW recipe titles that didn’t make the cut?
My friends are the funniest people I know, so I go to them for recipe title inspiration all the time. The “spiciest” ones we’ve come up with so far are Spinach & Artichoke Me Harder Dip and (my personal favorite, courtesy of my best friend Becca) Rum Dumpster hahaha. These are definitely NSFW, but they just might make the cut because I’m the editor and I like to push the envelope a little.
Fried Tofu With Peen-Nut Sauce
Which recipe or two are your favorites?
Since these are all recipes that I actually make and eat, I love them all. But my favorite that we’ve published so far is a tie between the peanut sauce from the Fried Tofu and Peen-nut Sauce recipe or the Pear & Gorgonzola Peenza. Both are delicious as appetizers for you and your friends, or an entire meal for yourself when you’re feeling extra indulgent.
What was your family’s reaction? Should we imagine especially colorful holiday feasts at the Hom household this year?
At first, my family thought I was joking when I told them I was going to start a dick-shaped cooking blog. But when I explained it to them as “elevated bachelorette party food’ I think they understood a little more. Since I started cooking them from my grandma’s kitchen, there was no use hiding it from her. She thinks it’s funny and chuckled every time she checked in on me in the kitchen. My entire family even started asking to help eat the leftovers. At first, I’d rearrange or cut up the food so it wasn’t phallic out of respect for their boundaries, but now they just eat it in full peen-form and we all get a good laugh out of it.
What’s next for Peen Cuisine?
More recipes, more innuendos, and more food/sex themed content for sure! I’m having such a blast making all of these recipes, and my creativity is running rampant, so I don’t even know what I’ll come up with next for Peen Cuisine. I’d love for it to be published as a cookbook someday, and I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Youtube channel. We’ll see!
Luckily, you don’t have to choose. But if you HAD to choose, food or sex?
Omg I’ve been asked this question so many times, and honestly my answer changes with my mood.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A veterinarian or a stay at home mom. Obviously things took a weird turn, and I’m not mad about it.
What do you do when Not Working?
Outside of client work, I’m still kinda always ‘working’. I love to make stuff, so in my non-client work time, you can find me cooking, crafting, drawing, or now...arranging food into penises. You know, classic creative pastimes.
Cockamole & Chips
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard or received that all creatives should hear?
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” - WNW Member Jessica Hische
Who are some WNW Members whose work you admire and why?
Mary Kate McDevitt #323
Zipeng Zhu #2465
James Kuczynski #6709
Mel Chernock #2906