| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

AYS, the creators and producers of the Taste of Tennis, New York’s premier pre-U.S. Open experience, announced the first-ever Taste of Tennis Week will take place from Aug. 20-23 in New York City. In addition to the renowned Taste of Tennis Gala, Taste of Tennis Week will feature even more tennis-meets-food events, including the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge on Aug. 20th, Citi Dining Series on Aug. 21st and Party With The Pros on Aug. 23rd.

The 15th Annual Taste of Tennis Gala offers guests the opportunity to sample sensational cuisine prepared by the most prestigious chefs in the world, sip on handcrafted cocktails all while rubbing elbows with professional tennis players. World number one Serena Williams, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Host of Today Show and MSNBC’s NewsNation, Tamron Hall, will be joined by top tennis players, celebrities and a number of New York’s finest chefs and culinary personalities.

“The Taste of Tennis concept has proven to be so popular, and we are pleased to offer these exciting new events that provide foodies and tennis fans with unprecedented access to their favorite chefs and pro tennis personalities,” said Penny Lerner, CEO of AYS.

The complete Taste of Tennis Week schedule of events includes:

►Wednesday, August 20, Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge, 9:00 a.m.-Noon at Midtown Tennis Club (341 8th Avenue, New York City): Hosted by Top Chef Masters Finalist Kerry Heffernan. At this exciting event, professional chefs will serve up something a little out the ordinary as they compete in a round-robin style doubles tournament to determine who is the King (or Queen) of the court! Participating chefs include: Marc Murphy (Landmarc), Kerry Heffernan (Top Chef Masters Finalist), Daniel Holzman (The Meatball Shop), Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop), David Seigal (Cull & Pistol), Francois Payard (FPB, FP Patisserie), Zac Young (David Burke Group), Chad Brown (Davio’s), Eric Gabrynowicz (Restaurant North), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Phil Conlon (Corkbuzz Wine Studio), Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar and Grill), Philippe LaJaunie (Les Halles), Carmen Quagliata (Union Square Café), Floyd Cardoz (Celebrated Indian American Chef) and Andrew Friedman (Cookbook Author).

►Thursday, August 21, Taste of Tennis Gala, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. at The W New York (541 Lexington Avenue in New York City): The party that started it all! To celebrate the U.S. Open, AYS created the Taste of Tennis, a one of a kind event featuring fine food prepared by 25 of NYC’s top culinary minds, signature cocktails, interactive sponsor experiences, live music and appearances by the world’s greatest tennis players. Hosting this year’s gala will be Today Show’s Tamron Hall, headlining Chef Masaharu Morimoto and professional tennis star Serena Williams. The evening will be a curated culinary evening with US Open stars, the brightest chefs in New York and celebrities who will be on hand to enjoy the slew of offerings with proceeds benefiting City Harvest. Participating chefs include: Headlining chef, Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto), John Mooney (Bell, Book, & Candle), Marc Murphy (Landmarc), Peter Andino (Heartbeat), Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop), Eric Gabrynowicz (Restaurant North), Kerry Heffernan (Top Chef Masters Finalist), Bill Telepan (Joel Javier/Larissa Raphael) (Telepan Local), David Seigal (Cull & Pistol), Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga and The Fat Ham), Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat), Phil Conlon (Corkbuzz Wine Studio), Chad Brown (Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse), Carlos Llaguno (Les Halles), Harold Moore (Commerce Restaurant), Ben Pollinger (Oceana), Zac Young (David Burke Group), Georgeann Leaming (Suppa), Admir Alibasic (Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse), Sebastien Chamaret (Bagatelle), Paul Evans (Secrets St. James, JTB) among others. Participating athletes include: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Bryan Brothers, Sloane Stephens, Gael Monfils, Aga Radwanska, Dustin Brown and more to be announced. Major sponsors for the 15th Taste of Tennis include Citi, Rado, Guadalupe Islands Tourist Board, The Cheesecake Factory, Jamaica Tourist Board, W New York, UnBurn, Mouton Cadet and Franciscan Estate Napa Valley, among others. 

►Thursday, August 21, Citi Dining Series, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. at the Heartbeat Restaurant: ”Citi Dining Series” is a series of events that take place nationwide and feature a menu created by a highly regarded chef and meet and greet with professional athletes and other celebrities. This customized event platform created and produced by AYS allows Citi to provide unique and memorable appreciation experiences to their clients.

Party With the Pros from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Measure Lounge at Langham Place Fifth Avenue in New York City): Guests at the Party With the Pros will enjoy an evening of great food, handcrafted signature cocktails and live music, with some of the top names in professional tennis. This exclusive event takes place a Measure Lounge at the luxurious Langham Place Fifth Avenue Hotel. Participating athletes include: Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and John Isner.