Get Ready…..Get Set……it’s time for The 4th Annual Harlem EatUp! This week-long festival will run from May 14-20, celebrating the food, music and art of Harlem.
Festival founders, Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz set out to highlight the rich culture and history of Harlem, from its food and music to local artistians and businesses. Now in its fourth year, it has become a week when all of Harlem struts its stuff ~ from the ticketed Ultimate Grand Tasting to the free Harlem Marketplace.
This years lineup has lots of new and exciting restaurants, chefs, activities and special guests added to the list, as well as the well-known from years past ~ here are a few delicious names you might recognize ~ Yvette Leeper-Bueno (VINATERIA); Carlos Swepson (BLVD Bistro); Karl Franz Williams (Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall); Melba Wilson (Melba’s); Leticia “Skai” Young & Chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan (LoLo’s Seafood Shack); Anita Trehan (Chaiwali), Gustavo Lopez (Clay), Jelena Pasic (Harlem Shake), Camaron Fagan (Harlem Tavern), Leah Abraham & Nino Settepani (Settepani), Artist Thornton (SpaHa Soul), Kenichi Tajima (Mountain Bird), and Juliet & Justine Masters (The Edge Harlem).
Taking a look at what’s ahead this week
On Monday, May 14th ~ EatLocal: East Harlem will offer an intimate food tasting and open bar experience featuring several East Harlem restaurants.
From Wednesday, May 16th through May 17th, The Dine in Harlem Dinner Series includes ~
Tuesday, May 15: Hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Guest Chefs Daniel Boulud, Daniel & Chef Kfir Ben-Ari of RDV at Ginny’s Supper Club (Citi Private Pass)
Wednesday, May 16: Hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Guest Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli & Michael Jenkins of Butter at Ginny’s Supper Club.
Wednesday, May 16: Chef Gustavo Lopez of Clay (553 Manhattan Avenue at 123rd Street) with guest chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao – New to the Harlem food scene, Clay is serving seasonal, locally sourced food in a modern and monastic space that was formerly Harlem’s Perks Jazz Club. Chef and co-owner Gustavo Lopez welcomes chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao and Piggyback Bar into his kitchen for a Spanish-Italian-Southeast Asian collaborative menu.
Wednesday, May 16: Chef Melba Wilson of Melba’s (300 West 114th Street) with guest chef Andrew Zimmern – Melba Wilson, who was “born, bred and buttered in Harlem” hosts Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods to throw down in the kitchen at Melba’s.
Wednesday, May 16: Chefs Nino Settepani & Leah Abraham of Settepani (196 Lenox Avenue at 120th Street) with guest chef Floyd Cardoz of Bombay Bread Bar – Two originals walk into a kitchen ~ one from the Lenox Avenue contemporary Harlem food scene, the other a legendary Indian-American chef. Settepani owners, chef Nino Settepani and Leah Abraham, welcome chef Floyd Cardoz of newly opened Bombay Bread Bar into their Northern Italian kitchen. Come taste what happens when these dynamic cultures collaborate!
Wednesday, May 16: Host Karl Franz Williams, owner & chef Christopher Faulkner of Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall (2331 12th Avenue at 133rd Street) with guest chef Maxcel Hardy of Detroit’s River Bistro – The West Indies meets West Detroit at this Dine In when Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall owner Karl Franz Williams welcomes Motor City’s finest, chef Max Hardy of River Bistro. Together with S&K chef Christopher Faulkner, the evening promises to deliver a pan-Caribbean soul-food-filled meal.
Wednesday, May 16: Hosts, Chef Carlos Swepson & Markisha Swepson of BLVD Bistro (239 Lenox Avenue at 122nd Street) with guest Chef Maneet Chauhan, CHOPPED Judge – If you are a fan of Food Network’s Chopped and wondered what it would be like to meet a judge AND taste their food, this Dine In at Harlem’s BLVD Bistro is made for you. Owners Carlos and Markisha Swepson are hosting Nashville chef Maneet Chauhan at their intimate brownstone soul food eatery.
Thursday, May 17: Chef Jelena Pasic of Harlem Shake – East Harlem (2162 Second Avenue at 111th Street) with guest chef Josh Capon, Mercer Street Hospitality – Harlem EatUp! Grand Tasting favorite Harlem Shake joins the Dine In series for the first time at the East Harlem location. Owner Jelena Pasic welcomes guest chef Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar and Bowery Meat Company to create a classic all-American menu, with that Harlem twist!
Thursday, May 17: Host Leticia “Skai” Young & Chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan of LoLo’s Seafood Shack (303 West 116th Street) with guest chefs Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis, Root & Bone.
Thursday, May 17: Host Yvette Leeper-Bueno of VINATERIA (2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 119th Street) with guest chef Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat – Vinatería is the only Dine In restaurant to have participated every year of Harlem EatUp! This year, proprietor Yvette Leeper-Bueno blends her Italian-Spanish perspective with that of Top Chef winner, chef Stephanie Izard of Girl & The Goat in Chicago. Together they will create an experience filled with bold, globally influenced food and the je ne c’est quoi of Vinatería that we can’t get enough of! Salud! Saluti! Cheers!
The Harlem EatUp! Annual Luminary Award Dinner will take place on Thursday, May 17th, hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson.
Another great addition this year will be Mantras and Mimosas on Friday, May 18 – A Free morning Yoga by Land Yoga in Harlem, to the beats of DJ Taela, including everyone’s favorite “brunch cocktail” Prosecco.
The EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy’s “is the heart of The Harlem Stroll,” and takes place in Morningside Park on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20. Check out the schedule of culinary demonstrations and performers for this Free Event, and the WholeFoods Kids Zone.
Too many Special Guests & Guest Chefs to mention, but here are a few ~ Bevy Smith, co-host on Page Six, SiriusXM Radio, Dapper Dan – Dapper Dan’s Boutique, and Andrew Zimmern (TV personality and author), Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis (Root & Bone); Laila Ali (author of cookbook, “Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours!”); Daniel Boulud (Restaurant Daniel); Josh Capon (Mercer Street Hospitality); Floyd Cardoz (Top Chef Masters winner, Bombay Bread Bar); Maneet Chauhan (CHOPPED judge); Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao); Jose Garces (Ortzi); Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Chicago); Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolates); Jernard Wells (The Chef of Love); Jarobi White (chef and founding member, A Tribe Called Quest), and Mr. Cory’s Cookies.
Net proceeds from the festival will be donated to Harlem Park to Park, Citymeals on Wheels and Historic Harlem Parks, distributed by the Harlem EatUp! Foundation.
Want to see more of Harlem? Walk over to the 26th Annual Ethnic Festival on Saturday, May 19th in El Barrio ~ Get your ticket for the Mount Morris Park Historic District House Tour on June 10th ~ Take part in the Sotheby’s auction for Studio Museum in Harlem ~ Take a walk through Marcus Garvey Park and see the art installation, Atlas of the Third Millennium, and if it’s Saturday, you’ll get to see the Harlem Drummers. Check out Samuel Torres in concert at City College Center for the Arts on May 18th ~ and come back to Harlem and attend a concert in a historic church on Marcus Garvey Park on May 20th with Three on 3 Presents