Harlem EatUp! food festival draws thousands

Harlem is the yummy place to be this week for the fifth annual Harlem EatUp! food festival. The weeklong festival celebrates the wonderful food, art, and culture of Harlem.

"It's really all about New York City coming to Harlem and socializing, eating, celebrating our community," said Chef Marcus Samuelsson, the owner of the Red Rooster restaurant and co-founder of the festival.

"It's a magical community between history, culture, and people, and food," he added. "How could we portray that beyond a restaurant? How can we really showcase the whole community?"

More than 14,000 people from over 30 states and seven countries are expected to attend.

"The thing I like most about the food in Harlem is the culture," festival-goer Sonia Armstead said. "Everything is a nice variety of all of our influences as African Americans."

Andrew Lopresto co-owns Babbalucci with his father John and loves connecting with his culinary neighbors.

"It's a good time to try to reconnect with the people that may be coming to eat dinner at your establishment," Lopresto said. "Talk to people and also talk with the other chefs and restaurateurs in the neighborhood."

"This all the local businesses, all the local entrepreneurs, are being really showcased, portrayed, and have an opportunity to show their stuff for rest of the city," Samuelsson said.

For details and tickets, go to HarlemEatUp.com.