Kait Lott Knows What You Crave

This foodie runs a successful Instagram account showcasing Cincinnati’s food scene.
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ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS DANGER

Grant program director by day and food influencer by night, Kait Lott loves telling her Instagram followers about the exciting culinary developments in the Queen City. We recently talked with her about her beginnings, her long-term goals, and how Cincinnati’s food scene compares to Chicago’s.

Do you consider yourself a food blogger or a food influencer?

I would consider myself both while noting that my website does not get enough love from me these days. The word “influencer” is always a weird one to me, but I do hope that I influence people to get out and explore all that the city has to offer. So if being a food influencer means “influencing people to support local, invest directly in the local community, try something new and hopefully find a new place that brings them joy,” then yes, I’m definitely more of a food influencer.

Why did you start your Instagram account?

I started my IG account, @kaitskravings, because I was on a weight loss journey. I was eating really healthy Sunday through Friday and then would have some pretty amazing cheat days on Saturdays. This led me to explore multiple restaurants and bars every Saturday, and I just loved taking pictures of all my food adventures. Eventually, my phone started to run out of storage and friends of mine kept encouraging me to create a food page because they said my photos were so pretty. Apparently, I had an eye for it.

It took a while for them to convince me, but I got excited about having a place for my Saturday food adventures to live and, even more so, share information about Cincinnati. At the beginning, a lot of my followers weren’t Cincinnatians. They were friends and colleagues from other places, so it was cool to show them how awesome the Cincinnati food scene was and how beautiful it is here! So many people thought me moving to Ohio meant me living in the middle of a cornfield, so it was awesome to see the positive response and excitement for my food content from people outside of the area.

What does being a foodie mean to you?

It means experiencing joy and life through the lens of food. My favorite thing about food is how it brings people together and how much we can learn about one another through cuisine. I have always had a love for flavors, presentation, and food pairings but becoming a foodie has really changed the way I explore cities and learn about others, and it shifted my perspective on life. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 34:8, which says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…” and that is how I want to feel about life in general. Food is such a great comparison for goodness. Taste and see that food really is rich, wonderful, creative, colorful, educational, familial, authentic, cultural, and so much more!

You’re originally from Chicago, right? How does Cincinnati’s food scene compare to Chicago?

I am! I grew up outside of the city in the northwest suburbs and love visiting now as an adult, exploring more of the city and the food scene. It is hard to compare the two. Chicago definitely has a more expansive food scene, especially considering the vast amounts of different cultural influences, as Chicago has a much larger diverse population. That is what I loved about growing up there. I had the opportunity to get to know people who did not look like, act like, or even eat like me. It was something I took for granted at the time, so now when visiting Chicago I love to try all the food and really soak in the different flavors, backgrounds, and stories the food tells. We have that in Cincinnati but not on the same scale, although we are growing in that capacity.

How did you end up in Cincinnati?

I was visiting my cousin at UC and decided, This is it! I did not have a job at the time and was not financially stable, and looking back on it the move was risky for me, but it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Cincinnati has allowed me opportunities I didn’t know I would ever have. I am excited to continue to explore Cincinnati and more through the lens of food. So feel free to follow along on Instagram, and hopefully you find a new place where you become a regular or delicious dishes that brings you joy!

What’s the best dish you’ve ever had?

Contrary to what many people may think, the best dish I’ve ever had was not eaten at a restaurant but in my parents’ home. It’s definitely my dad’s homemade carrot cake, which is his mother’s recipe. My dad is actually one of the best cooks I know, even though he is a corporate professional. I hope to be as good a cook as him one day. He also makes great mac and cheese and seafood gumbo.

What are your long-term goals?

In terms of food coverage it would be to travel the world, getting paid to eat and explore different cultures through cuisine, all while documenting it. I would also love to host a Food Network show, highlighting local aspiring foodies, chefs, restaurateurs, and more, especially in Midwestern cities! I’m super passionate about dismantling the idea that the Midwest is not up to par with the east and west coasts. We have some amazingly talented chefs in the Midwest and truly beautiful places, so it would be a dream to be able to share that with the world while shining a light on those who have the same mission and passions as I do concerning food.

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