Local Produce, Pittsburgh

By Alia Akkam / September 7, 2011

local produceWhen Chef Andrew Morrison left Atlanta and the kitchen of the Four Seasons Hotel, the biggest surprise waiting for him in downtown Pittsburgh— where the Englishman holds court over Habitat, the restaurant inside the LEED Gold-certified Fairmont Pittsburgh—was the staggering amount and variety of produce available from local farms. “I’m buying a lot of hearty root vegetables for the winter,” he says: “Rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, onions.” On any given night, hotel guests and locals on the prowl for a pre-theatre bite park themselves in the earth-toned restaurant where the striking wooden chef’s table overlooking the gleaming open kitchen is the most coveted seat in the house. Morrison is known for sourcing localingredients, which translates into specialties such as the Pennsylvania Mushroom tart, a pastry shell layered with leek purée and topped with a mess of seasonal mushrooms—whether Chanterelle, Crimini, or Hedgehog. “Highlighting natural foods is uncomplicated. If you’re by the ocean, you serve fish; if you’re surrounded by mushroom fields, you serve mushrooms.”

Chef Andrew Morrison’s Pennsylvania Mushroom Tart Recipe

Alia Akkam
Alia Akkam

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