Cornerstone Restaurant in Aspinwall welcomes new California chef

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A restaurant in Aspinwall has a new chef.

Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar hired Executive Chef Peter Henry this spring.

He replaces Jason Mooney, who was a chef for eight years but had to leave due to health reasons.

“We are delighted to have Peter join our Cornerstone family. We know his passion and talent will continue to create contemporary, seasonal foods that our guests will love and expect when they visit us,” said Cornerstone Owner Erin Connolly.

Joyce Hans | Tribune review

Cornerstone Restaurant’s new chef, Peter Henry, hails from California.

Cornerstone, located on the corner of Freeport Road and Eastern Avenue, opened in 2009. It is housed in a historic 1910 building that was once the Aspinwall National Bank and later the post office.

“I look forward to growing in my community here in Aspinwall,” said Henry.

Henry, 36, is from Santa Cruz, California, where he studied food chemistry at UCLA and culinary arts at California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco.

The Covid epidemic made him look for a new opportunity and when he visited Pittsburgh he “fell in love with the city”.

Classically trained in French cooking techniques, Henry gives his dishes a global reach.

“I’ve run restaurants that have ranged in cuisine from beachfront fish houses to Japanese izakyas to local Italian trattorias,” Henry said.

His culinary endeavors even crossed paths with the Dalai Lama while he was in charge of the catering and wedding program for the Pema Osel Ling Buddhist retreat center.

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Photos: Joyce Hanz | Tribune review

Gluten-free crab and shrimp cakes ($35) with fresh corn, edamame, tomato succotash, bacon with lemon basil aioli.

A new menu is in the works, but certain cornerstones of the Cornerstone menu remain.

“I remember chicken and Brussels sprouts being the mainstays. We will be developing new spins on our cornerstone classics,” said Henry.

“We’re tweaking our current menu by focusing on the quality ingredients we receive, working to improve our platters with all of those ingredients, and letting the quality ingredients shine and speak for themselves.”

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Photos: Joyce Hanz | Tribune review

Cornerstorne Restaurant & Bar is located in a former bank and post office at 301 Freeport Rd. in Aspinwall.

In Santa Cruz, Henry ran the first 100 percent certified organic restaurant, The Cremer House. He contributed to two programs – the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Homeless Gardens Project, which provide free organic produce to homeless and children’s homes across California.

Henry and his wife live in Verona.

Joyce Hanz is a contributor to the Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, [email protected], or via Twitter .

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