2015 has been a year of many firsts, including our first Pittsburgh Blog Swap. And we are the lucky bloggers to guest write for the awesome blog Beezus Kiddo. As I was perusing the site, I noticed that one of her 40 before 40 bucket list activities included a weekend stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Well, it just so happens that my husband and I loooove Nemacolin, and we’ll take any excuse to get back there.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a luxurious mountain get-away in the beautiful Laurel Highlands. This handsome 2,000 acre resort is nestled on top of the rolling hills that join the Allegheny Mountain range. We’ve gone here for quick get-aways, bachelorette parties, and even work conferences. And we’ve always enjoyed ourselves immensely. Mainly because there’s a real sense of serenity up at Nemacolin. The air is so fresh, and the natural beauty that encapsulates the resort is truly breathtaking. And honestly, who can beat the unbelievably short commute from Pittsburgh?
So, my dear mother graciously agreed to take our boys for a night so we could enjoy ourselves with some friends for an evening in the mountains. And that meant one very important activity: dining out. Now the pressing question was; where? Our friends and we wanted all the bells and whistles of fine dining but not so much the formal attire. After discussing our options, Autumn was the exact answer we needed for a perfect night out.
Now as we strolled down the luxurious hallways adorned with one stunning crystal chandelier after another, we found ourselves at Autumn’s entrance. We were quickly seated at a large table in the front of the house. Our wonderful waitress, Becky, took our drink order while we chatted wine with Austin, Autumn’s sommelier. With drinks in hand, it was now time for some serious appetizers…
We started off with the Classic Shrimp Cocktail. Admittedly, I had a real hard time sharing this with our group because a REAL good shrimp cocktail is hard to come by. But I ultimately got over it because everyone deserves a little taste of seafood heaven every now and then…
Next, we dove into these incredible pretzel crusted crab cakes. They were light and packed full of rich flavors. Oh, and they were accompanied by a beer mustard sauce. Yup, I was absolutely smitten with this chef already.
All of the sudden, this plate showed up. Is this food or 3-D art? I honestly didn’t want to disturb this masterpiece, it just looked so gorgeous. But I got over that rather quickly as Becky explained the contents these little beauties…
These potstickers are made with with kale, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, quinoa, and is accompanied by a sunflower seed hummus. This is not a traditional appetizer that we meat lovers would tend to go wild over.. But I kid you not- this appetizer completely won us over. All of us agreed that we’d all become vegetarians in a heartbeat as long as Chef Tyler Hutchison was cooking…
Not pictured but equally loved were the Spicy Calamari, Cauliflower Meze, Maggie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Crab and Artichoke Dip with Truffle Parmesan Pita Chips, Parmesan Kale Chips, and Mushroom Soup.
And we hadn’t even touched the entrées portion yet…
Chef Hutchison apparently enjoys the art of cooking with beer as much as we do. Once I spotted the Bone in Pork Chop with German potatoes and sauerkraut pierogies, mustard greens with a maple beer glaze, I was done for. The other entrees didn’t stand a fighting chance… Picture Credit: Chef Hutchison’s Instagram
Tim was enticed by the Sesame Tuna special with shrimp & wasabi potato butter, Asian crispy kalettes, and a sesame ash garnish. So stunning, so fresh, and oh so spring.
Our buddy ordered this handsome dish: Elysian Fields lamb with a “dirty” lamb pappardelle, pistachio gelato, and naturual lamb jus. Picture Credit: Chef Hutchison’s Instagram
Oh. My. Goodness
Entrées not pictured above yet were equally amazing; Basil Pesto Pasta with basil, avocado, spinach, tomato and shrimp. And the Swordfish with bamboo risotto, swiss chard, Chinese sausage, red pepper, and white soy emulsion. Just wow.
After this banquet fit for kings, we had to tap out, raise the white flag, and call it a night. As we sat back and basked in all the glory of a truly exquisite dining experience, we knew some major thank yous were in order for one very talented young chef.
Chef De Cuisine Tyler Hutchison
At the ripe age of 14, Chef Hutchison immersed himself in the culinary world. He started as a dish washer, and worked his way up to the hot line. Once he got a taste of the culinary world, he knew that he had found his life’s passion. He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania Culinary School in Punxsutawney, PA. He was accepted as an intern at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Charleston, South Carolina. There, he refined his skills and learned the fine art of preparing fresh seafood. Once he completed his school hours, he was hired on full time and worked his way up to Chef De Partie. After 2 years, Chef Tyler decided to bring his skills back to Pennsylvania and joined forces with Nemacolin.
And I’m so glad Chef Hutchison did. His interpretation of fine cuisine is stunning, moving, and beyond inspiring. Dish after dish, he offered beautiful plating, intriguing flavor combinations, contrasting textures, palate exciting, perfected culinary masterpieces. It’s brilliant how he took such familiar foods and threw countless curve balls in their execution. This dinner is one for the ages and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for such a talented chef, his sous chef Rachel Davis, and the rest of his creative team. We excitedly await Autumn’s spring menu which launches in just a few weeks.
Chef Hutchison graciously shared his famous Kale Potsticker recipe with us for this post….. How lucky are we?!
Chef Hutchison’s Kale Potsticker Recipe
Kale Potsticker Dough
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 cup spinach water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Additional spinach water may be needed
- Mix together flour, spinach water, and salt
- Let it start to form a ball
- Add additional spinach water for dough ball to form
Kale Potsticker Filling
- 5 lbs kale leaves
- 2 lbs shiitake mushrooms, julienned
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, minced
- 1 cup mirin
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sweat down kale in a big stock pot
- Add shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Cook until tender (kale should look like cooked spinach and mushrooms should be soft)
- Add rice wine, mirin and white wine
- Season with salt and pepper. Reduce liquid until au sec (nearly dry)
- Lay out on baking sheet and let cool in refrigerator
Assembly of Kale Potstickers
- Roll dough out dough with a rolling pin or pasta machine
- Use ring mold to cut out a circle. Repeat until dough is gone
- Place 1 TBSP worth of filling in center of potsticker dough circle
- Fold over, seal edges, and shape as desired. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling/dough is gone
- In a large pot, bring water boil water. Season with salt
- Boil potstickers for 2 minutes, drain
- Heat large frying pan on medium heat with 1 TBSP olive oil
- Pan fry with olive oil until golden brown
- Serve immediately! These can be enjoyed with soy sauce or can be served with red quinoa just like Autumn did.
Thank you Chef for sharing this incredible recipe and for the truly inspiring meal at Autumn. We cannot wait to visit you at Autumn again soon!
Cheers N’at– Devon and Tim
Also, a heartfelt thanks to Becky- you were so attentive and you really knew the menu through and through. We had an absolute blast spending our dinner with you. And Austin- it was such a pleasure speaking with you. I wish we could have pulled up another chair and talked wine with you all night. You guys made this such an incredible night out. Cheers!