Chefs from Across the City Convene for This Weekend’s Harlem EatUp! Festival

Other than fine dining, the festivalgoers can attend panel discussions about the past and present of Harlem’s culinary scene.

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This weekend marks the first Harlem Eatup! festival. It begins tomorrow and will continue all weekend with food-centered events going on night and day.

Perhaps the most buzz surrounds the ticketed dinners happening May 14 and 15. Famous chefs from downtown and all over are coming up to Harlem to work with chefs at some of the neighborhood’s culinary institutions to cook a one-of-a-kind meal blending their sensibilities.

Plus, each dinner will be paired with live entertainment as well.

Highlights include chef Michael White joining chef Carlos Brown at Sylvia’s, Jacque Torres cooking with Melba Wilson herself at Melba’s Spoonbread, and Marcus Samuelsson will be cooking with both Bobby Flay at the National Dance Institute and with South Carolina’s Sean Brock at Ginny’s Supper Club.

Other than fine dining, the festivalgoers can attend panel discussions about the past and present of Harlem’s culinary scene and also what it’s like to be a chef and open a restaurant uptown.

On Saturday culinary heavy hitters like Scott Conant, Aaron Sanchez and Ludo Lefebvre will be joined by local staple Karl Franz Williams, of course Samuelsson again, among others for cooking demonstrations and competitions in Morningside Park. Dance, music, art and tasting experiences are available to ticketed attendees, though some of the Morningside Park events will be open to the public.

When asked what is most exciting about the weekend ahead, Samuelsson said, “I’m excited about the entire weekend! It’s amazing that this will be the festival which celebrates the art, culture, food and most importantly the community. Harlem has long been a vibrant neighborhood and we’re excited to be showcasing that over the four days.” Finally on Sunday Morningside Park will be filled with kids activities, performances and more tasting and sipping tents. “There truly is something for everyone,” said Samuelsson, “ We hope people will come to Harlem and have fun!

Tickets can be purchased online or at the satellite box office at 114th St. and Manhattan Ave.

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Emma Cosgrove is a writer and food industry nerd living in Harlem. She is an adventurous home cook with a reductionist view of modern food. She cooks tongue more than steak, liver more than tongue. She never met a root vegetable she didn’t like.