Featuring fare from all over the District, influenced by flavors from around the country and world, and signature cocktails and beverages, the Citi Taste of Tennis on July 30 kicked off the Mubadala Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Hosted at La Vie, located at the District Wharf, the Citi Taste of Tennis, was a fun, flavor-filled event that not only helped launch a weeklong tournament, but celebrated the diversity of food and cultures in the nation’s capital.
“You’ll get smacked in the nose with the lovely flavors the chefs will be preparing right there,” said Crystal Freeman of AYS Sports Marketing, which produces the event, in a WIN-TV interview on July 28. “It’s a really good atmosphere just to get up close and personal with the chefs that you don’t necessarily see when you’re dining in the restaurants– so you get to know them a little bit better that way.”
Each year, the multi-city event is interactive allowing for guests to interact with the chefs, athletes, and organizers and celebrate the spirit and culture that makes each Citi Open location unique.
“While you’re moving across the layout to different stations to taste the lovely food, you can bump into some of the tennis players who are participating in the tournament.”
Beginning almost 25 years ago when a local tournament wanted a way to “jazz up a player party,” Taste of Tennis has grown since its humble beginnings.
“Through much think tanks that we had, we realized, ‘What do players like and what do they need?’ They need some good food to fuel their bodies so they can perform well. And they don’t have time when they’re in the locale to scout out the right places,” Freeman explained. “We want the players to feel at home.”
This year’s Citi Taste of Tennis highlighted the rich diversity and wealth of cultures within the District’s dining options.
This year’s featured chefs included: Multi-restaurant entrepreneur, Moon Rabbit’s Chef Kevin Tien; Chef Bader Ali of Gerrard Street Kitchen; Chef Patrice Cleary of Purple Patch; Dolci Gelati’s Chefs Alessandra Begggiato and Ugo D’Agnese; Amrina The Woodlands’ Chef Jassi Bindra; Chef John Mooney of Bidwell; Chef Scheyla Acosta of Cashion’s Rendezvous; Chef Mac and Chef Pinke of Flavorture; Chef Shorne Benjamin of Saint Lucia Tourism; Chef Javon Cummins and Mixologist Dameain Williams of Barbados Tourism; Chef Keem Hughley of Bronze; Chef James Thomas from Café Riggs; Chef Ryan Hackney of Chaos; La Vie’s Chef Juan Rivera;, and Chef Satha Boyd of NARA-YA.
From flavors from the Caribbean, Chesapeake, Philippines, Italy, Southern United States and classic American fare with a twist, there were several scrumptious food items to taste.
Before the Citi Taste of Tennis, the Informer caught up with Flavorture’s Chef Mac, who showcased the delectable, flavorful and love-filled short rib sliders and vegan egg rolls being featured in the event. While the Flavorture food is delicious and the dining experience at their brick and mortar is worth the trip to their Woodley Park location, Chef Mac said the networking at Taste of Tennis is a noteworthy experience.
“It’s an opportunity to network and meet a lot of great chefs… and people who are traveling across the globe for tennis, and entrepreneurs, ” Chef Mac said. “We’re here to be able to communicate and be able to commune with the community,”
In addition, guests were treated to espresso martinis from Segafredo Zanetti Coffee, bubbly from Zonin USA and a limited supply of VOSS’ custom bedazzled bottles.
With talented live entertainment and a DJ playing jam after jam, the Citi Taste of Tennis allowed guests to party as they celebrated the beauty of the District’s diverse dining landscape and kicked off the weeklong tournament.
“We try and bring the best of the best culinary talent in the locales where we are, and marry that with the tennis players who are participating in the tournament,” Freeman said.
For more information on the Citi Taste of Tennis, including the other featured cities and schedule, go to tasteoftennis.com.