We are just four days away from Harlem EatUp! 2019! Another year of hard work, collaboration and excitement will come to its culmination once again. I am grateful to be a part of this annual celebration.

In preparation of the festival, and as part of the WarmUp! to EatUp! pre-festival programing, I was asked to moderate a post screening of the documentary “Chef Flynn” at the Maysles Documentary Center on Lenox Avenue on Sunday night. The rain could not keep me away from meeting this talented young chef, Flynn McGarry, who began his career at the age of 10 with high-end pop-up dinners in his California home inspired by master chefs like Thomas Keller (The French Laundry) and Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park).

The director of the film, Cameron Yates and the producer, Laura Coxson, joined Chef McGarry. Together we talked about fostering creativity, passion and the joy and therapy of finding order in chaos.

Currently executive chef of Gem (116 Forsyth Street), Flynn is living in NYC and still in the pursuit of flavor. I am looking forward to trying Gem’s 15-course meal soon. Thank you for the memorable experience.

The Dine In dinner series is always the first event of Harlem EatUp! While some of these dinners are sold out, there are others with a spot waiting just for you. Here are my recommendations lifted from the harlemeatup.com website (copy, courtesy of yours truly).


Date: Tuesday, May 14

Location:  2331 12th Avenue (133rd Street & 12th Avenue)

Ticket Price: $115 (price includes a copy of Chef Onwuachi’s new book, “Notes From a Young Black Chef”)

Time: 7 p.m.

Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall owner and restaurateur, Karl Williams, welcomes creator and executive chef of D.C.’s Kith/Kin, former Top Chef contestant and newly minted James Beard Foundation Award winner for Rising Star Chef of the Year, Kwame Onwuachi. Together with executive chef Mike Maitrel-Burgard, they will take you on an exploration of African-Caribbean-American food from Nigeria to Jamaica, Louisiana to New York City. With a rum history told through Karl’s craft cocktails, it is sure to be a powerful night. Don’t miss it!

Beer, Wine & Spirits: E. & J. Gallo Winery, Diplomatico Rum and Heineken


Date: Wednesday, May 15

Location: 300 West 114th Street

Ticket Price: $100

Time: 7 p.m.

This Dine In will be the epitome of the word ‘historic’ when, “born, bred and buttered in Harlem,” Melba Wilson welcomes executive chef Jerome Grant of Sweet Home Café in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture to her kitchen. What they share is a love and deep appreciation for their origins and, of course, for the food of the African-American diaspora. If you have yet to see the museum, let this dinner be your historic appetizer. This joint is sure to be jumpin’ (historically, of course) as these two powerhouses celebrate the night with you.

Beer, Wine & Spirits: E. & J. Gallo Winery, Corona Premier, and HH Bespoke Spirits

Finally, the Annual Luminary dinner honoring Lana Turner, The Honorable David N. Dinkins and posthumously Madam C.J. Walker at Ginny’s.

The Annual Harlem EatUp! Luminary Award Dinner at Ginny’s Supper Club

Date: Thursday, May 16

Location: 310 Lenox Avenue

Ticket Price: $250

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Established to recognize culinary, art and cultural leaders of Harlem, the Luminary Award remains a highlight of the festival. Now in our fifth year, we are honored to be celebrating Harlem real estate, art curator, socialite and style icon, Lana Turner, former mayor of NYC, The Honorable David N. Dinkins, and the life and legacy of American entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist, Madam C. J. Walker.

For this night of Harlem excellence, Harlem EatUp! co-founder Marcus Samuelsson welcomes two outstanding guest chefs—Michelin starred executive chef, Emma Bengtsson, of Aquavit, Marcus’ alma mater and culinary iconoclast, partner and executive chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia, Mashama Bailey. Both influenced by their grandmothers’ cooking, the meal will take you on a rich journey from the fjords of western Sweden to the roots of the South and back to Harlem again. Neighbors and friends, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka will stop by with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in hand, while legendary winemaker Mac McDonald and wine maverick, Andre Mack will provide their award-winning wines to celebrate and toast our awardees. The evening promises to be powerful, fashionable and inspired. Come raise a glass to all!

Beer, Wine & Spirits: Vision Cellars, Maison Noir, Corona Premier and Hendrick’s Gin

Should The Harlem Stroll be more your vibe, please use my personal code, HEU4STAFFKH, to receive 20 percent off both Saturday and Sunday Grand Tasting in Morningside Park. Visit www.harlemeatup.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

Looking forward to seeing 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 over 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!