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Eat and Drink

Bill Clinton, Marcus Samuelsson unveil Harlem EatUp! food festival

Herb Karlitz, Trenness Woods-Black, New York City Mayor

Herb Karlitz, Trenness Woods-Black, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Chef Marcus Samuelsson announce the launch of Harlem EatUp! Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Harlem is a popular spot among celebrities and other notable figures, including former President Bill Clinton and chef Marcus Samuelsson, and now both men are teaming up to give something back.

Samuelsson, the co-owner of Red Rooster, announced the creation of "Harlem EatUp!" Tuesday, a three-day food and cultural festival in Harlem set for next year.

He and Clinton joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and several of the neighborhood's restaurants, businesses and community leaders to introduce the event that will showcase area eateries with music, free food and more from May 15-17, 2015.

"This is going to be about cooking, community, culture and spirit," Samuelsson said at a news conference at his Lenox Avenue restaurant.

The event already has major partners and sponsors, including accounting firm EY and Cooking Light Magazine. Proceeds will go toward Citymeals-on-Wheels and Harlem Park to Park, which is the community's improvement association.

Clinton, who set up the offices of his foundation in the neighborhood after he left the White House in 2001, said he's always been a fan of the food and entertainment offerings in Harlem and has been impressed with its growth as a prime hot spot for New Yorkers and tourists.

He predicted that "Harlem EatUp!" will create economic benefits for the neighborhood for years to come.

"This festival is about food and it's also about the culture of Harlem," he said. "Thousands and thousands and thousands of people will come by here and hear music they never heard, they will hear poetry they have not heard, they will go to museums they would have never visited."


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