Clear Path for Veterans exists to help service people who come home and are in transition. It’s a welcoming, peaceful place, where vets can have a quiet cup of coffee and enjoy breathtaking views, find support services and programs, take a hike, enjoy a meal with family and friends, get a massage, pick strawberries (in season) and pick up the skills needed for a career in the culinary arts.
The general public rarely gets a glimpse of Clear Path, 1223 Salt Springs Road, in the wooded countryside near Chittenango. But now they can get a taste of it.
Clear Path started offering a monthly Sunday brunch in August. The next feast is slated for Sunday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $20 per person, with free admission for age 4 and under. Proceeds benefit the culinary arts program for vets.
It’s a buffet-style affair featuring plenty of breakfast and brunch favorites: omelets, frittatas, bacon, breakfast sausage (from veteran-owned Creekside Meadows Farm in New Woodstock), pancakes, French toast, grits, house-made muffins, coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls, coffee, tea, juices and more. For dessert, there’s a chocolate fountain with berries, pretzels, sliced bananas and oranges and marshmallows for dipping.
Adam Coleman, executive chef and culinary program director, says the first brunch was a hit with guests. “I think people were impressed,’’ he says. Coleman’s crew of fellow vets and volunteers look forward to more opportunities to cook for and serve the public.
Coleman, 33, a native of Austin, Texas, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who did three combat tours of Iraq with the 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment. Following his military service, he says, he was a “vagabond.’’ He guided whitewater rafting and kayak tours in Alaska, led diving adventures in Honduras and traveled extensively in Europe and the United States.
He studied at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, in Colorado, and previously served as sous chef with Culinary Command, a rigorous training program for a select number of veterans and active-duty soldiers that has been offered at Clear Path in the past. He plans to offer a similar program at Clear Path in 2016.
Add Coleman to the list of so many veterans who come to the off-the-beaten-trail facility and find peace there. Last fall, he jumped at the opportunity to join Clear Path as culinary program director:“I knew right away I wanted to be here.’’
Clear Path for Veterans is a non-profit organization co-founded in 2011 by Melissa Spicer and Melinda Sorrentino. Sunday brunches are also scheduled for Oct. 25 and Dec. 20. For information or directions, call 687-3300.
Muffin Stuffin’ for Local Chef
Modern Malt chef Anthony Donofrio is one of 135 chefs representing 135 cities competing in the Hometown Breakfast Battle, a chef-recipe competition sponsored by Thomas’ English muffins.
Donofrio’s entry in the competition is the Knife and Porker. The creation is built on a Thomas’ sandwich-style English muffin and includes smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pineapple chutney, Mornay sauce, sunny side up egg and fresh chives.
Voters can select their breakfast favorite at thomasbreakfastbattle.com. The top 16 chefs will advance to the next round of the competition.
Modern Malt, 325 S. Clinton St., in Armory Square, offers a modern take on the classic local diner menu. The restaurant is open Mondays to Wednesdays, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 7 a.m. to 4 a.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast is available all day. For more information, call 471-6258.