Harlem EatUp! celebrating food, culture and art kicks off Monday

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Harlem Eatup! festival set to kcik off
Chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Melba Wilson joined us in the studio.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The fourth annual Harlem EatUp! festival kicks off Monday offering a wide range of things to do, including some of the favorite sights and flavors from the historic community.

Chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Melba Wilson joined us in the studio on Eyewitness News Sunday Morning to talk about the event.

The festival includes a full slate of events, with tickets ranging from free and pay-as-you-go to ticketed "Dine In" dinners.

Tickets and complete information can be found on harlemeatup.com.

Below is much more information about the festival from its organizers.


"Harlem EatUp! combines the spirit of a block party and a family reunion where everyone is invited," says co-founder Marcus Samuelsson." "We created Harlem EatUp! to celebrate what makes this the most vibrant neighborhood in New York City, from food and drink to music and culture," says co-founder Herb Karlitz.

This year's Dine In Harlem dinner series will again showcase local and guest chef culinary mash-ups at some of Harlem's most beloved restaurants, featuring menus paired with wines from Bordeaux. Harlem EatUp! will also include the annual Harlem EatUp! Luminary Award Dinner honoring Dapper Dan & Bevy Smith. New to the HarlemEatUp! line-up is a free, early-morning yoga session, Mantras, Mimosas & Bellinis, presented by Caviacchioli 1928 and featuring Harlem's own Land Yoga and DJ Taela. Guests can meditate to a funky beat and enjoy delicious Prosecco cocktails.

The festival will also showcase The Harlem Stroll, a two-day outdoor event at Morningside Park, one of the neighborhood's most celebrated parks, consisting of the Ultimate Grand Tasting (ticketed), and the Harlem Marketplace (free admission). Harlem restaurants and culinary stars will welcome their peers from New York City and across the country for a delicious, dynamic and memorable week. Citi is the preferred card of Harlem EatUp!

"Harlem is one of the most vibrant, culturally diverse and delicious communities in the country," says Andrew Zimmern. "I can't wait to cook alongside some of the neighborhood's pioneers and most iconic culinary voices, including the inimitable Melba Wilson, and eat my way around the globe without leaving the island of Manhattan."

This year's Harlem EatUp! line-up includes: Yvette Leeper-Bueno (VINATERlA); 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); as well as Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis (Root & Bone); Laila Ali (cookbook author); Daniel Boulud (Restaurant Daniel); Josh Capon (Mercer Street Hospitality); Floyd Cardoz (Top Chef Masters winner, Bombay Bread Bar); Maneet Chauhan (CHOPPED judge); Dapper Dan (Dapper Dan's Boutique); Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao); Jose Garces (Ortzi); Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Chicago); Bevy Smith (SiriusXM Radio Andy); Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolates); Jernard Wells (The Chef of Love); Jarobi White (chef and founding member, A Tribe Called Quest); Andrew Zimmern (TV personality and author); and more.

Among the many restaurants to be featured this year include: BLVD Bistro, Chaiwali, Clay, Ginny's Supper Club, Harlem Shake, Harlem Tavern, Lady Lexis Sweets, LoLo's Seafood Shack, Melba's, Settepani, SpaHa Soul, Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird, The Edge Harlem, and more. Participating local vendors from the Harlem Park to Park Local Vendors Program and Harlem Business Alliance include Aromas Boutique Bakery, Clean Plate Co., Essie Spice, Limation Beverages, Mama's One Sauce, The Egg Roll Queen, The Little Hot Dog Wagon as well as Uptown Grand Central (NHEMA) and East Harlem Community Alliance members AFineLyne, Sprinkle Splash, Uptown Roasters and more.

As part of its mission and dedication to Harlem, net proceeds from the festival will be donated to Harlem Park to Park, Citymeals on Wheels and Historic Harlem Parks, and will be disbursed by the Harlem EatUp! Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen the community by supporting the people, cultures and non-profit organizations that empower Harlem. Harlem EatUp! is a celebration of Harlem's rich and rapidly expanding culinary, culture and art communities.

For a list of all free and ticketed events, please visit www.HarlemEatUp.com. Additional festival programming announcements will be made throughout the spring.



Guest chefs from New York and around the world will be taking part in the "Dine in Harlem" dinner series. Each Dine In will offer a collaborative, multi-course culinary experience featuring a breadth of cuisine, from Northern Italian to Southern soul. Each course will be paired with wine from the Bordeaux Wine Council, beer and cocktails. Dynamic performances from Harlem artists will round out the experience.

Tickets for the various events in the series are priced individually, available via www.harlemeatup.com.

The schedule includes:

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 (114th Street and F. Douglass Blvd) 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. This Dine In promises to offer delicious and unconventional comfort food... with a party that only Melba's throws. Bring your dancing shoes!

Wednesday, May 16: Chefs Nino Settepani & Leah Abraham of Settepani (196 Lenox Avenue, New York (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. It might be "so cold in the D," but it will be red hot in Harlem!

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 your jam. Owners Carlos and Markisha Swepson are hosting Nashville chef Maneet Chauhan at their intimate brownstone soul food eatery. No need to yell, "get it on the plate!" These chefs promise that each dish will show up just right!

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 W. 116th Street between F. Douglass Blvd. & Manhattan Avenue) with guest chefs Janine Booth & Jeff McInnis, Root & Bone

It's couples night in the kitchen when LoLo's Seafood Shack owners Leticia "Skai" Young and chef Raymond Zamata Mohan host chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis of Root & Bone. This foursome will be talking shop and creating a menu fit for everyone from the northeast to the south to the Caribbean.

Thursday, May 17: Host Yvette Leeper-Bueno of VINATERlA (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!


And there's more Harlem Eatup! fund to be had, including:



On Thursday, May 17, join host chef Marcus Samuelsson with guest chefs Adrienne Cheatham (Sunday Best Pop-up and season 15's runner up on Bravo's "Top Chef") and Geoffrey Zakarian (The Lamb's Club), for the third annual Harlem EatUP! Luminary Award Dinner at Ginny's Supper Club honoring legendary fashion designer Dapper Dan of Dapper Dan's Boutique and Bevy Smith, host of SiriusXM Radio Andy. The Luminary Award was established to recognize

and thank distinguished culinary, arts or cultural leaders in the Harlem community.

Ginny's Supper Club (310 Lenox Avenue, between 125 & 126 Streets) will host this intimate and magical celebratory dinner. Tickets are $250 per person and available at www.harlemeatup.com.


Enjoy a morning of yoga, mantras and Prosecco, presented by Cavicchioli Prosecco 1928 and Land Yoga, at HEU's first-ever Mantras, Mimosas & Bellinis on Friday, May 18. Start the day with an energetic class in Morningside Park led by Harlem's own Lara Land of Land Yoga and accompanied by a guest DJ Taela. Mimosas and Bellinis created with Cavicchioli 1928 will be served throughout. This event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required at www.harlemeatup.com. Limited capacity and all guests must be 21 years or older.

THE HARLEM STROLL featuring the Marketplace & EatUp! Performance Stage + the Ultimate Grand Tasting

Experience the best of Harlem in one place at The Harlem Stroll on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. This outdoor event brings together a wonderful sampling of the sights, flavors and sounds of Harlem from artists of the kitchen, canvas and stage. On Saturday, May 19, The Harlem Stroll is presented by Citi.

The Harlem Stroll offers the following:

The Marketplace (Free Admission with pay-as-you-go options) features an a la carte selection of food from notable Harlem restaurants, food vendors, a wine and beer garden and the EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's, where you can catch local and visiting chefs cooking up live demos, as well as performances from musicians; and a Kids Zone presented by Whole Foods offering fun and games for the family.

Attendees will have the option of purchasing a Marketplace Package for $25 (a $30 value) good for food and beverages purchases at the Marketplace. The Marketplace Package is available for purchase onsite and does not give guest entry to the Ultimate Grand Tasting. Food and beverages are subject to availability.

The EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's:

Join an eclectic and acclaimed group of culinary and musical artists for interactive demos on the EatUp! Main Stage presented by Macy's, located in the Marketplace (free admission) at Morningside Park, including: Leticia "Skai" Young & chef Raymond Zamanta Mohan (Lolo's Seafood Shack) with guest chef Jose Garces (Ortzi); chef Darryl Burnette (Belle Harlem) with guest chef Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat); Melba Wilson (Melba's) with guest chef Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolates) on Saturday, May 19. On Sunday, May 20, catch demos from: Jernard Wells (The Chef of Love) and Melba Wilson (Melba's); Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny's Supper Club) with Jarobi White (chef and member of A Tribe Called Quest); and Adrienne Cheatham (Sunday Best Pop-up) with cookbook author Laila Ali.

And, the Ultimate Grand Tasting (Ticketed $85-$110) is a taste-around of over 20 of Harlem's favorite restaurants accompanied by an assortment of fine wines, beers and cocktails, in an all-you-can-eat format. 21+ years required to enter.

The Harlem Stroll is located at Morningside Park (112 Street & Manhattan Avenue). General admission runs 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Citi offers early access at 12:00 noon each day exclusively for Citi cardmembers and one adult guest. Guests must have admission tickets to enter the Ultimate Grand Tasting at the Harlem Stroll. 21+ years required to enter The Ultimate Grand Tasting.


For a list of all free and ticketed events, please visit HarlemEatUp.com. Additional festival programming announcements will be made throughout the spring.