The third annual Harlem EatUp! festival is less than one month away! We are preparing our stomachs, ears, eyes and souls for all of the food, music, art and culture Harlem has to offer.

This year the weeklong celebration begins Tuesday, May 16, at the world famous Apollo Theater with a concert paying homage to Billie Holiday. A collection of artists will perform her songbook through dance and music, including Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Lizz Wright, Bettye LaVette, Deva Mahal, William Bell, Southside Johnny and more. It is a one-night-only event not to be missed.

Friday, May 19, begins the feasting at the annual Dine In series during which Harlem restaurants welcome guest chefs from across the city to collaborate on the largest dinner party in Harlem. Last year’s favorites, Vinateria and East Harlem’s Tastings Presents Mountain Bird, have some serious chefs on their hands this year. Chef Bill Telepan and chef Laurent Tourondel, respectively, will be collaborating on seasonal, local and classic French cuisine.

This year, Dine In newcomers LoLo’s Seafood Shack and Chai Wali are welcoming chefs of two NYC fast casual haunts—Talde Brooklyn and The Meatball Shop. A meal created by chef Raymond Mohan and chef Dale Talde is sure to be a spirited Caribbean-Maine-Asian-American dream of an evening. And see who rubs off on who when Anita Trehan and Daniel Holtzman create what is sure to be a unique dining experience.

Finally, the Harlem food family reunion returns Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, at The Harlem Stroll in Morningside Park. Return to the Marketplace to enjoy a collection of food and non-food vendors, the Bordeaux wine and beer garden, the Kids Zone and the convivial EatUp! Main Stage with performances and live culinary demos by Harlem and guest chefs.

For the athletic eaters, the Ultimate Grand Tasting continues the obsession from last year with a walkaround tasting of some favorite Harlem restaurants and food makers plus beer, wine and spirits. There are plenty of newbies too such as BO’s Bagels, Belle Harlem, Harlem Burger Co, The Edge Harlem and, the first Citi Challenge winner, Tsion Café who will be sampling throughout the Harlem Stroll.

Now there is no excuse not to join the party. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.HarlemEatUp.com. See you there!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!