Citi Taste Of Tennis, a culinary and tennis event that kicks off major tennis tournaments and features leading chefs and the world’s top tennis players, has been one of my favorite events for over 13 years now! I am so happy that they were able to have it again this year. Created by AYS Marketing and in its 22nd year, the event is sponsored by Citi and features a dozen restaurants serving tasting plates and cooking competitions between celebrity chefs and tennis pro partners. Once only a NYC event, Citi Taste of Tennis is now a traveling soiree with stops in Miami, London, Indian Wells, and Washington, DC. It is the best tennis party of every major tournament. Hopefully, they will start going to the French and Australian Opens next.
The NYC location changed this year since the hotel it used to be in is closed. But Cipriani 42nd was a far better choice anyway, as the hotel used to get too packed and it was hard to get to the food. The Cipriani location allowed people to be much more spread out and there were never crowds.
For this year’s cookoff, the two meals were vegan. Naomi Osaka and Emma Bengtsson of Aquavit faced off with Nick Kyrgios (who has been vegan since 2020) and French Chef Cedric Tovar using Beyond Meat in a vegan cookoff that ended in a tie!
The chefs and participating restaurants for 2022 were:
Chef Admir Alibasic – Admir Alibasic
Chef Jassi Bindr – Amrina the Woodlands
Chef Emma Bengtsson – Aquavit
Chef Sujan Sarkar – Baar Baar
Chef John Mooney – Bell Book Candle
Chef Chris Scott – Butterfunk Biscuit Company (the yam croquette with Scotch Bonnet Relish & Coconut Maffe Sauce was my fav dish of the night. I ate at least a half dozen of them and kept recommending them to the other guests! I wish these were for sale somewhere!)
Chef Belinda Bishop – Flavours of Grenada
Kerry Heffernan – Grand Banks Oyster Bar and Galley
Chef Oscar Gonzalez – Hard Rock Cafe
Chef Derrick – Jamaica Tourist Board
Chef Omar – Jamaica Tourist Board
Chef Michael White – The Lambs Club
Chef Fany Gerson – La New Yorkina
Chef Cedric Tovar – Lotte Palace
Shinichoro Noguchi – Nikutei
Chef Alfred Portale – Portale Restaurant
Chef Ali Ghriskey – Pine & Polk
Chef Franklin Becker – Press Club Grill
Chef Shorne Benjamin – Saint Lucia (this was my other fav dishes as I am living on chicken and rice right now. Unfortunately, the vegan diet was jacking me up so just added chicken back after 6 years, almost seven!)
Hari Nayak – SONA
Futago Sunbong Lee, Sunchol Lee – Yakiniku Futago
Tennis pros in attendance included: Serena Williams,
Eva Longoria was in attendance to support her tequila Casa De Solteq, a partnership with tennis pro, Garbine Muguruza.
The Hudson Horns and DJ Mad Linx ensured that the guests danced all the food off.
Additional sponsors included: Voss, The Hard Rock Hotel New York, Maker’s Mark, Sipsmith, Catena Zapata (love their rep!), Lucky in Love, Jamaica Tourist Board, and Volkl. A portion of the proceeds raised at this year’s Citi Taste of Tennis NYC benefitted the New York Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL). NYJTL is dedicated to developing the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court. New York Junior Tennis League was founded in 1971 by Arthur Ashe and by Founder and Chairman Emeritus Lewis “Skip” Hartman with the help of Gene Scott, Bill Shelton, and Erich Werner.