Chef at Home: Loam Kitchen

For Kim Lattig, seasonality and foraging aren’t just themes for her restaurant — they are a way of life. “Foraging days, even now when they are more work for us, bring us a lot of peace,” says Lattig, who co-owns Loam Kitchen in Dayton with her partner, Corey Taylor. “You could say they ground us.” The duo lost their jobs as caterers during the pandemic and began foraging in the woods for fungi, nettles and other edibles, developing their iconic recipe for mushroom pastry along the way. In May 2023, they launched Loam Kitchen, named after the mix of clay, sand and silt used for growing plants. Loam’s menu features the dishes they developed during lockdown, alongside other seasonally inspired and forest floor-to-table items. “Spring is my favorite culinary season — everything is so bright and zingy,” Lattig says.

Smoked Chicken & Mushroom Pot Pie

(Serves 4)


• 1 C mashed potatoes

• Braised, smoked or roasted chicken pieces

• 1 C butternut squash cubed, roasted

• 4 x 4-in square of your favorite puff pastry crust

• 1 C carrot, diced

• 1 C leek, diced

• 1 C favorite mushrooms, sliced

• 1/2 C celery, diced

• 3 garlic cloves, diced

• 1 T chopped herb mix; parsley, dill, chive

• 1 C vegetable broth

• 1 C chicken broth

• 1 C heavy cream


This recipe starts by having prepared one cup of mashed potatoes, pre-cooking your chicken pieces and pre-roasting squash. We also recommend baking a pastry square ahead of time. Begin by sautéing the carrots, leeks, mushrooms, celery, and garlic cloves gently in butter with salt and pepper until soft and aromatic. Feel free to add any sprig of your favorite herbs, thyme, rosemary or sage. 

Next add pre-roasted butternut squash; I roast mine in butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper until softened. Add mashed potatoes, vegetable broth, chicken broth and heavy cream, and be sure to incorporate the mashed potatoes into the broth to create a thicker consistency for your pie filling. The mashed potatoes add a wonderful earthy flavor as well as thicken the dish without the need for a roux or flour. Then add the desired amount of picked chicken meat. Reduce the liquid amount by half or until desired consistency. Finish with a heavy pinch of fresh chopped herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle onto a large piece of fresh toasted bread and finish, with either a biscuit top or a square of your favorite puff pastry crust that’s been baked with an egg-wash brushing and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Viola Syrup

(Yields 3 cups)


• 1 C viola petals

• 2 C hot water

• 4 C sugar


Separate viola petals from green stem and discard green stem. Place viola petals in a bowl and pour the very hot water over the petals. Let steep for 5 minutes. 

Strain petals from viola water. Pour viola water into a pot and add the sugar. Bring water and sugar to a boil while constantly whisking the sugar to let it dissolve. When it is brought to a boil, turn heat off immediately. 

Funnel into a glass bottle or storage vessel. Let cool until it’s time to use in your favorite cocktail!

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies 

(Makes 24 cookies)


• 1 lb or 4 sticks of butter, counter softened all
the way (not melted or microwaved!)

• 1 C sugar

• 1-2 T vanilla

• 3-4 C flour

• Edible flowers (for garnish)


Whip softened butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy (10 minutes in a stand mixer), scraping the sides regularly. Add vanilla measured with your heart and whip it into the creamed sugar until fully incorporated. Adding slowly half a cup of flour at a time, fold flour into the creamed sugar and vanilla. After the third cup, if the batter is too sticky, slowly add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is a soft but not sticky dough. 

Place a sheet of parchment paper flat onto the counter, and spoon half the batter onto it. Roll the dough, using the parchment paper to shape it into a cylinder. Do that again with the other half of the dough so you have two dough cylinders wrapped and rolled in parchment paper. Refrigerate the wrapped dough overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice half-inch rounds out of the dough cylinders and put on baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart from each other. Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes until just the very edges of the cookies turn a golden color. While fresh out of the oven, press fresh edible flowers onto cookies gently so they cook into the warm cookies. Let cookies rest for about 10 minutes before removing them from the tray.