Chowdown Throwdown to Benefit Clear Path

Sky Armory to host a competition-style event to benefit Clear Path for Veterans

The Food Network’s Chopped is a high-energy and high-stakes cooking competition TV series that pits chefs against each other for a chance to win a cash prize. The chefs are challenged to turn sometimes incongruous mystery ingredients into an elaborate three-course meal. A chef is “chopped,’’ or eliminated, after each round, leaving two duking it out at the dessert course.

On Veterans Day, a “Chopped-style’’ cooking competition will be held at Sky Armory in downtown Syracuse. The Homegrown Throwdown for Vets will feature more than a dozen local chefs preparing courses using locally sourced ingredients.

Instead of cooking for cash, the chefs will be cooking to benefit the culinary program at Clear Path for Veterans, a Chittenango-based nonprofit organization that offers programs, services and support for veterans, military members and their families. Guests will enjoy food from local restaurants, plus beer, wine and hard cider tastings from local breweries and wineries.

Chance Bear, executive chef at Cazenovia’s Lincklaen House. Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times

Chance Bear, executive chef at Cazenovia’s Lincklaen House.
Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times

“It’s going to be a big, tournament-style ‘throwdown’ with 12 chefs, four rounds of culinary awesomeness and the crowning of a winner at the end,’’ says Chance Bear, executive chef at Cazenovia’s Lincklaen House, which is organizing the event with support from the Syracuse chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

Participating chefs include: Mike Brown, Laci’s Tapas Bar; Adam Coleman, Clear Path for Veterans; Tim Crockett, private chef; Anthony Donofrio, Modern Malt; Paul Dicuia, Francesca’s Cucina; Elton Ellinger, Strada Mia; Chris Angle, Turning Stone Resort and Casino; Albert Herrera, Avicolli’s; Will Inman, private chef; Jason Jessmore, Sky Armory; Steve Landon, Free Range Catering; Jeremy Patterson, Finally Ours Diner; and Scott Peeling, Frankie’s Piccolo Bistro.

The enviable task of judging the creations goes to Austin Johnson, executive chef at The Krebs, Skaneateles; Ted Long, morning co-host at WNTQ-FM 93.1 (93Q); and Brandon Roth, multimedia journalist at WSTM-Channel 3.

Restaurants and vendors scheduled to participate include: Free Range Catering, the Pirro Convention Center, the Lincklaen House, Strada Mia, Diamond Catering/The Cider Mill, Laci’s Tapas Bar, Modern Malt, Palmer Foods, The Inn Between and Frankie’s Piccolo Bistro, Clear Path for Veterans and the Ridge Tavern. Wagner Vineyards, Hosmer Winery, Owera Vineyards, Critz Farms/Harvest Moon Cidery, Empire Brewing Company, Good Nature Brewing and Erie Canal Brewing will provide beverage samples.

The event will be held Wednesday, Nov. 11, 5 to 9 p.m., in the Coverly Room at Sky Armory, 351 S. Clinton St. Tickets are $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

The culinary program at Clear Path for Veterans is led by chef Adam Coleman, a Marine Corps combat veteran. Regular offerings include a Wednesday Canteen (a free lunch open to veterans and active duty service members and their families) and a monthly Sunday brunch (profiled in the Sept. 16 edition of the Syracuse New Times) that is open to the public. The next brunch is Dec. 20. For more information, visit

Ommm Meets Yum

What’s the perfect complement for a restaurant with a menu that focuses on clean, healthy eating? A healthy lifestyle and fitness event.

Core Greens, Grains and Bone Broth is hosting a free, all-day “Yoga Feast” on Saturday, Nov. 14. Advance registration is required and spots are filling up quickly, according to the restaurant. Bring your own yoga mat and water and replenish your body with a snack or meal at Core between sessions.

Four yoga sessions for beginners through advanced students will be offered throughout the day at Core and Chuck Hafner’s Farmers Market and Garden Center, 7265 Buckley Road (corner of Taft), North Syracuse.

  • 10 a.m.: Open-level Foundations class with Sophie Tashkovski of O Yoga Studio. Movements and postures are designed to build strength and improve flexibility.
  • 2 p.m.: Open-level Slow Flow class with Erin O’Toole of Lotus Life Yoga Center. A series of movements designed to strengthen and recharge the body.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Dharma 1 class with Gretchen Darrow Crotty of Dharma Yoga Center. A gentle yet powerful series of exercises and poses designed to bring flexibility to all muscles and joints. Advanced beginner to experienced.
  • 5 p.m.: Open-level yin yoga with Kristen Griffin of Method 360 Fitness. The session features longer postures to support the deeper “Yin” tissue of ligaments, joints, fascial networks and bones.

For more information, go to

Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at Follow her on Twitter, connect on Facebook or email her at [email protected].

Header photo: Chance Bear, executive chef at Cazenovia’s Lincklaen House. Michael Davis photo.
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