Behind the photo: Harlem EatUp! class of 2016
Last year’s Harlem EatUp!’s first class photo took place in front of a couple of brownstones on 119th Street in homage to Art Kane’s iconic photo, “A Great Day in Harlem.” And a great day it was, as it brought together so many chefs and restaurateurs from Harlem and all over the city to document the auspicious moment.
This year it is the World Famous Apollo Theater that sits as the backdrop of the 2016 class photo. More than 50 chefs, restaurant owners, personalities, artists and local figures gathered with festival creators Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz for a joyous snap in time.
He and Harlem newcomer, chef Lance Knowling of Blujeen on Frederick Douglas Boulevard, are producing a Dine In Friday night that is sure to be delicious.
I was fortunate both to be in the photo this year (Can you find me?) and to capture some moments between friends old and new. I was so happy to see chef Justin Smilie of Upland there, as my meal at his restaurant was one of my favorite meals of 2015 (http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2015/mar/12/talking-schop-taking-uptown-upland/)
Check out chef Charles Gabriel of Harlem’s Charles Fried Chicken (the bees knees of fried chicken!) as he lets chef Daniel Boulud of Daniel hold his signature frying pan. The owner of 67 Orange Street and the new owner Solomon & Kuff, Karl Franz Williams, and Scarpetta’s chef Scott Conant talk shop under the Apollo’s awning. Melba Wilson proudly shares her new cookbook with LoLo’s Seafood Shack owners Skai Young and Raymond Mohan. Who else can you find?
Eating up at the James Beard House
(Pictured: Melba's deviled eggs)
When food enthusiasts list some of the most special nights they have spent dining out in New York City, they will be lucky to mention a night at the James Beard House. James Beard was the godfather of modern day cooking and gastronomy, who left a legacy that continues to be honored through events, programs, scholarships and the prestigious James Beard Awards for excellence in food.
In celebration of the second annual Harlem EatUp!, the James Beard House hosted a team of Harlem chefs to whet the appetite of press, fans and foodies. On the roster were recent James Beard Award winner, co-creator of Harlem EatUp!, chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson; Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson of The Cecil and Minton’s; the master of poultry, Chef Kenichi Tajima of Mountain Bird; the convivial spirit of Harlem, Melba Wilson of Melba’s; and the chief baking officer of Make My Cake, Aliyyah Baylor.
As one does when dining at the Beard House, we passed through the kitchen en route to the garden, catching all of the chefs preparing for service. Melba’s started the cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres of blue crab deviled eggs with crab roe mayo and pickled radish, and citrus salad with lemongrass broth. Mountain Bird also prepared small bites of their sinfully good chicken liver mousse on caramelized toast and puff pastry artfully topped with goat cheese, zucchini, eggplant, oven-dried tomato and mint. Glenmorangie, a 10-year-old single malt scotch whiskey, was served at the bar, along with the dapper punch.
We were all summoned upstairs to full dressed dinner tables with the menu lain before us. Director of House Programming Izabela Wojcik introduced herself, the Beard House and the featured chefs, and then five courses, plus a surprise course, descended upon us paired with a selection of wines from Lynmar Estate Vineyards.
Chefs Samuelsson and Johnson tag-teamed the next phase of the meal, starting with Skuna Bay salmon crudo with Brazil nuts, sorrel tea and cilantro, and then caramelized char with apple broth and charred green tomatoes. The next two courses were braised pork curry over rice porridge, and then jerk-braised short ribs over red chief lentils and pea sauce. I was stuffed, as were the other guests, but in true generous Harlem spirit, in came all of the chefs serving platters of Samuelsson’s spicy chicken and waffles—the surprise course!
Finally, Baylor finished us off with a decadent chocolate layer cheesecake with Glenmorangie whiskey caramel sauce, while we tasted the whiskey neat. The guests applauded the gathered chefs as the chefs welcomed all to the Harlem EatUp! festival.
Something to wine about: Bordeaux
by Kysha Harris|@SCHOPgirl
In anticipation of the second annual Harlem EatUp! festival, I attended a pop-up trade tasting at Ginny’s in March (http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2016/mar/31/talking-schop-harlem-eatup-wines-and-dines/) to taste some of the wines to be poured and sold during the festival. There, I met Mary Gorman-McAdams, Bordeaux Wines market advisor for North America, as she emceed the afternoon to highlight the diversity of Bordeaux wines and how they can be paired with all of our Harlem foods.
After the event, Mary sent me a soupcon of Bordeaux wines to try. Of course I did not say no. Two reds and two whites arrived with great anticipation. Although up for the challenge, I would not drink alone. I would need some other palates to assist me. I called on Angie Hancock of Experience Harlem, with whom I recently hopped the vineyards of the North Fork of Long Island, and my college friend, entrepreneur, all-round wine expert and founder of YN Group, a wine tech company. Together, during a gorgeous sunset, we would get to the bottom of these bottles!
Name: Chateaux Bonnet
Grapes: 50 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 40 percent Sémillon, 10 percent Muscadell
This wine is known as an everyday wine, with succulent aromas of pear and tropical fruit, clean finish and well-defined. Bright, crisp and easy to drink, this wine was our favorite white Bordeaux. It will be poured at Sylvia’s for their Dine In with chef Carla Hall and during the festival.
Name: Marjosse Blanc, Reserve du Chateau
Grapes: 45 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 45 percent Sémillon, 10 percent Muscadelle
Pale gold in color, this wine offers fresh fruit and floral aromas with great liveliness and balance. Notes of gooseberry, green fig, winter melon, white peach and delicate herbs produce a fresh, pure, rich and juicy finish with lingering floral and tropical fruit nuances.
Name: Chateau Saint Julian
Grapes: 60 pecent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Cabernet Franc
Once this wine was opened, it paired well with the two pizzas we ordered from Harlem Pizza Co., both with rich cured meats. It was fruity yet dry, with notes of cassis and plum. I do love a blend, especially with Cabernet Franc.
Name: Chateau Des Demoiselles
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
This blend has a delicate and complex nose with aromas of red fruits, oaky vanilla and mocha. The velvety tannins roll around the mouth, producing robust and complex flavors with a beautiful rounded finish.
These Bordeaux wines and others will be served at the Dine Ins and poured at 11 other Harlem restaurants with $1 from each glass going to the festival beneficiaries, Citymeals and Harlem Park to Park. Additionally, you can purchase them at some Harlem wine stores.
Cheers! A votre santé! Salud! Cin cin!
Harlem SeeUp!: The art
(pictured: Omo Misha McGlown)
The art at last year’s Harlem EatUp! blew my mind! From the photography to the large canvas work to the sculpture, I was so happy to see Harlem artists getting their shine. After attending a preview of this year’s artists, I knew we are all in for some serious visual treats.
Chaiwali (@ChaiwaliHarlem, 274 Lenox Ave., 646-688-5414, www.chaiwali.com), one of Harlem’s newest restaurants centered around food, art and design, hosted a small collection of the Harlem EatUp! artists after a walkabout in Marcus Garvey Park to see some of the installations for FLUX Art Fair. While munching on sprouted bread avocado toast, tandori chicken wraps and crunchy kale fritter and avocado salad, guests were able to stroll the room, see the art and meet the artists.
I was captivated by artist Omo Misha McGlown’s work of iconic women portaits. She uses her graphic, large and colorful art to share and reimagine stories about significant persons or moments in history.
Harlem native artist Makeba Rainey’s patchwork piece of a Jean-Michel Basquiat photo was vibrant and brought his whimsy and spirit to life. Inspired by fellow emerging visual and performance artists, “Keebs” fosters collaboration through her organization, Black Capital Coalition.
With a name like Theo Mighty, this modern surrealist artist needs no affirmations. His work is bold, with nods to the past, present and future. His work reminded me of a combination of Justin Bua and traditional Haitian art. He is one to watch.
Last by not least is graf writer, 2011 inductee to the Graffiti Hall of Fame, founder of Wizards of the Styles international graffiti crew, artist Zulu King Slone. He regaled us with stories of his past, of how he created his art on trains, and how he now creates his art on canvas and wall murals.
These artists are just the tip of the Harlem EatUp! art iceberg. Keep an eye out and an ear, too, for all of the talented musicians and DJs, as these artists feed your soul!
#ImSoAmNewFOOD contest winners (part 1)
(pictured: Jean Gibson with her daughter Tamara and her son Kevin)
After some hard searching and delicious tasting, we have our winners of the second annual #ImSoAmNewsFOOD contest! They will be sampling their wares this Saturday and Sunday at The Stroll in Morningside Park at the Amsterdam News booth for you and all of the patrons of Harlem EatUp!
Our 2016 winners hail from east, west and central Harlem. They are OHH! Tropical Barley Water, Aromas Bakery Café and Ida Preserves. All three of our winners’ products showcase the diversity of our community and the continued strength of entrepreneurship. Check them out and come taste what they are making.
OHH! Tropical Barley Water is a beverage that combines fruit juices and spices and nutrient-rich barley water, and no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor or artificial color. It comes in three flavors: raspberry splash, strawberry splash and blueberry splash. OHH!’s low-calorie content is derived primarily from the fruit juices, and it is a healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.
OHH!’s creator and CEO of family-run Barleaya LLC beverage manufacturing company, Jean Gibson, a Harlem resident, worked as an emergency room nurse for 18 years. She saw first hand the toll obesity took on the community and the need for preventative care. She knew the answer lay in her British Guyana roots and the heart-healthy benefits of a household staple, barley water. Come learn how OHH! puts “Your How To’s in a Bottle!”
#ImSoAmNewsFOOD contest winners (part 2)
(pictured: Jo-Anne and Chef Eileen Barett)
After seven years sharing a kitchen in a Manhattan catering and events space, sisters Jo-Ann and Chef Eileen Barett launched Aromas Boutique Bakery & Café in their native East Harlem three years ago, featuring luxury confections, custom cakes, catering and corporate gifts. Since that time, they have amassed many accolades from clients, including Best of Weddings 2015 and 2016 from The Knot magazine. However, Aromas’ most appreciated accolade is their creation being named the Best Pumpkin Cake in the World by their local Harlem community.
Adria Bell is the owner of Ida Preserves, a small batch preserves company, inspired by what Bell calls “the realization of a heart calling.”
As it was for her mother, Ida, growing up on an Arkansas farm, each batch of jam is crafted by hand, in Harlem. Bell says she is “purposed to bring to literal fruition that which is wholesome and true,” with a selection of ingredients to punctuate the consistency, hue and notes of the featured fruit.
Ida Preserves is excited to team up with fellow Harlemites, Aromas Boutique Bakery, to create a special sweet just for Harlem EatUp! “This is an especially exciting time in Harlem, as host to so many seasoned and flourishing new businesses,” says Bell. She is excited to be a part “the climate of elevated excellence” of Harlem and knows Ida Preserves fully embodies that commitment.
Aromas’ Ida Preserves blueberry cornbread will be sampled Sunday in Morningside Park.
Join Kysha Harris, AmNewsFOOD Editor for The Amsterdam News, at the inaugural Harlem EatUp! festival in 2015. She is Talking SCHOP! with chefs, restauranteurs, mixologists, vendors, sponsors and more about the first food, art and culture festival in Harlem.
Kysha Harris talks with the winners of the first #ImSoAmNewsFOOD contest at the 2015 Harlem EatUp! festival.
Map and Schedule
Follow AmNewsFOOD on social media to see what's happening during the festival and beyond on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD. Tell us what your favorite Harlem foods are with #SoAmNewsFOOD. Let’s eat up Harlem together!
About the Editor
Kysha Harris, AmNewsFOOD Editor
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Follow AmNewsFOOD on Twitter @NYAmNewsFOOD.