Friends eating at picnic Credit: cristian negroni : PH-0000169867

Harlem culinary celebrities, who regularly serve up large portions of love for Harlem, are excited to participate in the International Taste of Harlem (ITOH) and celebrate the world-famous neighborhood’s global array of restaurants, eateries, and bakeries.

Presented by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the ITOH will highlight 30 internationally themed uptown establishments now through Nov. 26, encouraging Harlemites to support local businesses, and importantly, urge neighborhood residents to circulate more of their disposable income in Harlem.

The celebrity owners — Kenneth Woods of Sylvia’s Restaurant; chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster of Harlem; chef and baker Aliyyah Baylor of the Make My Cake bakery; Melba Wilson of Melba’s; Norma Jean Darden of Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too; baker Alvin Lee Smalls of Lee Lee’s Baked Goods; chef Elhadji Cisse of Ponty Bistro; and Betty Park of Manna’s Renowned Asian and Soul Foods — are excited about ITOH, and ready to share their wares with customers.

Tim Zagat, co-founder of the respected Zaga Survey restaurant guide is thrilled about the ITOH. 

“As a Jewish kid who grew up on W. 117th Street, I’m proud of my family being Harlemites. I acquired my taste for eating in the Harlem community. There are great restaurants in the neighborhood, and it’s ever-growing,” Zagat said. “I’m proud to promote Sylvia’s, Patsy’s, Melba’s, and all the other restaurants in the International Taste of Harlem.”

During the COVID pandemic, when it was hard times for Harlem, the celebrity chefs and others used their establishments and their fame to aid the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce’s “Support Harlem Now!” Initiative, providing Harlem residents, businesses, and first responders with needed assistance and supplies.

Betty Park and Manna’s Restaurant, Melba Wilson and Melba’s restaurant, Chef Cisse Elhadji’s Ponty Bistro, Kenneth Woods’ Sylvia Restaurant, and restaurateur Matthew Trebek’s Lucille’s Restaurant were among the establishments that contributed greatly to the cause.

For more information on the International Taste of Harlem, contact Baron Carr of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce at (212) 862-7200.

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