The weekend brought visitors to the area for special dinners, talks, demos and other events, but the main attraction was Saturday's "The Stroll," an outdoor gathering point for local food trucks and restaurants, chefs and foodies and even a special visit from President Bill Clinton. Photographer Clay Williams was on hand to document "The Experience"—a paid section of the event with lots of food, drinks and celeb chefs—where local eateries and their owners peacocked for the enthusiastic crowd.
"I have been coming to Harlem for more than 45 years. Nothing characterizes this neighborhood more than the food—all the different restaurants, all the people who provided," Clinton declared during a brief speech. "I'm really grateful that somehow you guys got all of these world famous chefs from all over America to come here and cook. I think you did it so you'd have bragging rights—that the locals are better. "
On hand inside the ticketed area: legendary Harlem spots like Melba's (serving catfish skewers) and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken (serving fried chicken, mac & cheese and other staples). The next wave of Harlem's culinary renaissance were also represented, including ceviche-style seafood cups from Harlem Tavern, lemon-crusted nugget bites by Seasoned Vegan and jerk chicken tacos by hip neighborhood poster boy Marcus Samuelsson and his restaurant Red Rooster.
The Eat Up! also featured art, music and dance performances, as well as a visit from Mayor de Blasio, culinary demos by people like Ludo Lefevre and George Duran, cocktail and wine demos from Karl Franz Williams (67 Orange Street) and "Wine Evangelist" Brian Duncan. Outside the ticketed area, food trucks and vendors including Fashionista, Artistic Taste, Snow Day and Mighty Edible set up shop for visitors to buy food and good a la carte.