It is that time of year when I am so proud to announce the now fifth annual Harlem EatUp! festival,, going down May 13-19, 2019, in Harlem restaurants and of course in the historic Morningside Park, benefiting Citymeals on Wheels, Harlem Park to Park, Historic Harlem Parks and the Harlem EatUp! Foundation. There is more, more, more to celebrate this milestone year, including pre-festival Harlem arts and culture events, downtown dinners and our first Saturday night Dine In dinner.

As a born and raised Harlemite, I am grateful to have been a part of this festival since the beginning, copywriting and even naming the events. This year, I am even more proud to be the associate producer of the festival and working with festival co-founders Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz and their talented teams of people from MSG and Karlitz & Co., respectively. Thank you for this honor to add a voice to this ongoing and spirited conversation about my home.

Now, let us get way into all that is going down. It starts with the Dine In Harlem dinner series ( This year Harlem EatUp! is highlighting some of the culinary pillars existing in today’s Harlem restaurant scene—African, Southern soul, Caribbean, world fusion, American comfort food and more. To this, each restaurant is paired with national and international chefs representing Scandinavia, Europe, Asia, Nigeria and, of course, America by way of Savannah, Ga.

Of the lot of the Dine In dinners I am super-duper excited about five-year OG Vinateria and their executive chef, Mimi Weissenborn, being paired with none other than chef Daniel Boulud on May 14 and Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird executive chef Kenichi Tajima being paired with Nigerian chef Michael Elégbèdé on May 16. I am also super jazzed about Harlem’s own, Melba Wilson, paired with chef Jerome Grant of Sweet Home Café from the National Museum of African American History and Culture as they have a historic food conversation on the plate in what they are calling this joint is jumpin’ on May 15.

I am most impressed with the number of women chefs represented at Harlem EatUp! this year. We continue to make great strides both in and out of the kitchen. In fact, I am fangirling at the lineup for this year’s Luminary Award dinner honoring Harlem fashion icon, Lana Turner, and the Honorable Mayor David Dinkins. Samuelsson will team up with executive chef of Aquavit, Emma Bengtsson, and partner and executive chef of The Grey (housed in a formerly segregated bus station), Mashama Bailey. This will be a night not to miss.

Stay tuned for more on the 5th annual Harlem EatUp! next week here at Talking SCHOP!

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 over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!