John McEnroe Tennis Academy
Featuring top chefs from across the country
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Credit: Thomas Jackson

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateurs of the U.S. Open, have announced a number of new additions to the culinary offerings at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the 2010 U.S. Open, which runs from Aug. 30-Sept. 12. Already recognized as having among the best food in sports, the 2010 US Open will now play host to unprecedented levels of culinary star power in addition to the signature cuisine that has made this tennis event one of the most anticipated summer sports experiences for tennis fans and foodies alike.

Most notably new this year is the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe, featuring signature items created exclusively for the U.S. Open by some of the most esteemed chefs in the country. Spiaggia Chef Tony Mantuano, who created the Wine Bar Food experience at the US Open and is fresh off an appearance on Top Chef Masters, worked with U.S. Open Executive Chef Michael Lockard to invite several Top Chef Masters co-stars to participate. Chefs include Mantuano, Susan Feniger, Carmen Gonzalez, Rick Moonen and Jonathan Waxman. Additionally, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has been tapped to serve his signature sushi in ACES, the Player’s Lounge and the 90 luxury suites.

Attendees will also see more healthy and organic options, including a new all-organic concession stand. The Patio Cafe and the Heineken Light Lounge have also expanded, and the new Overlook cabanas will serve as popular between-match destinations.

“The U.S. Open is one of the premier sports and entertainment attractions on the planet, both in the on-court product and in the experience offered to patrons throughout the grounds,” said Danny Zausner, managing director, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “The U.S. Open features culinary offerings that have transcended sports, and with the additions in 2010, including an extraordinary lineup of acclaimed chefs, this year’s U.S. Open will provide both tennis fans and casual visitors alike an experience unparalleled by any other sporting event in the world.”

Culinary highlights for the 2010 US Open include:

South Plaza Master Chef Cafe
South Plaza Master Chef Cafe: Unprecedented for a sporting event, the new South Plaza Master Chef Cafe will be accessible to all guests and will feature dishes created exclusively for the U.S. Open by a roster of celebrity chefs. Additionally, on Sunday, Sept. 5, all chefs will be on-site to conduct cooking demonstrations and compete in the Master Chef Championship Charity Competition for their own U.S. Open prize: a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice for the chef that sells the most of their signature item. Participating chefs include:

►Susan Feniger: Chef and owner of Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica and Las Vegas and the Border Grill Truck (along with business partner Chef Mary Sue Milliken), Feniger recently launched her first solo venture, Susan Feniger’s STREET in Hollywood. A veteran of Food Network's Too Hot Tamales, Feniger also co-authored five cookbooks with Milliken, including Mesa Mexicana and Cooking with Too Hot Tamales. For the U.S. Open, she will serve carne asada tacos made with grilled jalapeno lime steak, caramelized onion, grilled corn relish, chipotle salsa and guacamole, and Yucatan pork tacos made with braised achiote pork, orange jicama slaw, guacamole and pickled onion, both served on soft corn tortillas with red rice and black beans.

►Carmen Gonzalez: Puerto Rican native Gonzalez is the former chef/owner of the nationally-acclaimed, Miami-based, Carmen the Restaurant, which was named “one of the best restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine. Gonzalez will be serving a lobster roll with key lime mayonnaise, a pulled pork sandwich with mango slaw on a brioche roll, barbeque pork quesadillas topped with avocado relish, a lobster and avocado terrine, and Carmen’s signature flan with caramel sauce.

►Tony Mantuano: Mantuano is known worldwide for his four-star Italian restaurant Spiaggia, located in Chicago. He also won the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest. In addition to his offerings at the Wine Bar Food stand, at the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe Mantuano will serve a spinach salad with crispy shallots and crumbled ricotta salata, and an antipasti platter featuring Niman Ranch dry cured salami, Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese and marinated Cerignola olives.

►Rick Moonen: The author of Fish Without a Doubt and chef/owner of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Moonen is an advocate for sustainable seafood practices and is critically acclaimed for his work at Oceana, Molyvos, the Water Club and RM. For the U.S. Open, Moonen visited the Levy Restaurants Innovations Kitchen in Chicago and worked with Levy and Tony Mantuano to develop the Moon`N Doggie, an all-natural shrimp hot dog debuting at this year’s U.S. Open. Each shrimp dog is served on a fresh toasted bun and comes with Asian slaw, mint pesto and toga chips. Customers can also customize their Moon ‘N Doggies with a variety of specialty toppings including honey ginger goo, chipotle dude or horseradish hell.

►Jonathan Waxman: A revered chef, restaurateur and author, Jonathan has helmed venerable kitchens from coast to coast—from Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael’s in Los Angeles to New York’s famous Jams in Washington Park. The author of A Great American Cook, Waxman is currently the chef/owner of Barbuto in Manhattan’s West Village. At the Open, he will dish up his signature roast chicken panino with basil aioli and greens and mozzarella, an heirloom tomato caprese panino with pesto, and a grilled sliced hanger steak panino with pepperonata, along with caponata and ratatouille contorni.

►Wine Bar Food: Chef Mantuano and wine expert Cathy Mantuano will once again offer their wine bar atmosphere adjacent to the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe and on the Club Level of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The menu, based on recipes from their Wine Bar Food cookbook, will bring back popular items such as flaming ouzo shrimp and the mozzarella plate, expertly paired with Mediterranean wines.

Food Village & Concessions
►New: Stonyfield Farm will have an all-organic stand, serving organic food and beverages such as balsamic blue salad made with organic greens, naturally-raised chicken, crumbled blue cheese, raisins, walnuts and flatbread croutons and the chilled gazpacho. The Southern BBQ stand is also new, offering Texas beef brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and more. The Fulton’s Seafood stand, known for the U.S. Open signature lobster roll, has also added a fried shrimp ‘po-boy’ served on a baguette with coleslaw. All hamburgers in the Food Village are also now made with a LaFrieda burger blend made exclusively for the U.S. Open.

►Niman Ranch: Levy Restaurants is the exclusive purveyor of Niman Ranch products in sports and entertainment venues nationwide, and their premium sausages and meats will be served throughout the U.S. Open grounds. Niman Ranch is supplied by a network of more than 650 independent family farmers who raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably, and their meats are 100 percent natural and gluten-free.

Restaurants
►ACES (Club Level): Known for VIP sightings at the U.S. Open, ACES now has even more star power— in the kitchen. ACES welcomes Chef Masaharu Morimoto to helm the sushi served at this seafood restaurant, where he will prepare sashimi, daily sushi specials including a signature U.S. Open roll, and the chef’s choice Morimoto ultimate combo. The menu also features a new lobster salad made with local corn, shell beans, farm eggs, asparagus and orange-tarragon vinaigrette.

Champions Bar & Grill (Club Level): This exclusive steakhouse offers premium cuts of meat and seafood including the new Surf and Turf, grilled filet mignon and butter poached lobster served with a garlic and herb tomato gratin. The Champions Seafood Tasting—an assortment of clams, oysters, shrimp and lobster served with traditional accompaniments—is also a top-seller.

Mojito Restaurant and Bar (Arthur Ashe Stadium ground floor): This Latin restaurant is a popular between- and post-match destination accessible to all ticketholders. New this year is the squash blossom quesadilla with zucchini flowers, pepper jack cheese and avocado relish.

Patio Cafe (outside the U.S. Open Club): A charming outdoor cafe, this year the Patio Cafe opens a new bar with an extensive wine list and small plates menu to match. On the main menu is the new California BLT made with crisp Niman Ranch bacon, bibb lettuce, sliced tomato and avocado on rustic sourdough bread.

Additional highlights
►Overlook as presented by Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas: A new space this year, the Overlook cabanas are on the terrace of the practice courts atop food village. The menu features an impressive drink list along with ceviche, spring rolls and crispy scallion Moo-Shu wraps made with chicken, pulled pork or tofu.

►Heineken Light Lounge: First introduced last year, this tennis oasis has expanded to include outdoor seating and will now offer food including the Belgian waffle bites dipped in Nutella hazelnut sauce and the Belgian waffle club sandwich made with maple-glazed turkey, hickory smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato served between two Belgian waffles. This lounge also features a DJ, sofas with fire pit tables and plasma TV stations loaded with Wii Tennis.

►Player’s Lounge: The athletes are given many options to fuel their game, and new this year they will also have an Iron Chef making sure the U.S. Open remains the players’ favorite food destination on tour. Iron Chef Morimoto will now manage the sushi station, offering players made-to-order rolls and sashimi. Additionally, the pasta bar has doubled in size and the popular juice and smoothie bar has been expanded.

►Honey Deuce: The signature drink of the U.S. Open is a refreshing blend of GREY GOOSE Vodka, a touch of raspberry-flavored liqueur, lemonade and honeydew melon “tennis” balls, served in a U.S. Open souvenir glass with a list of past U.S. Open men’s and women’s winners. One of the most popular items on the grounds, more than 50,000 of the signature drinks were sold at the 2009 US Open.

►Going Green: The USTA and Levy Restaurants have continued to expand their green initiatives. New this year, composting will be expanded throughout the grounds including the two main kitchens, as well as all restaurants and front of house operations. Other initiatives include a cooking oil recycling program that converts oil into clean-burning, renewable biodiesel fuel, and utilizing serviceware (cups, napkins, plates, etc.) made from environmentally-friendly, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials. The recycling program has also expanded and Levy Restaurants will be sourcing more than 30 percent of all produce from local farms.

►City Harvest Donation: The USTA and Levy Restaurants will once again team up to donate unused food to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, which delivers rescued food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs. Last year, four truckloads totaling more than 21,000 pounds of food were donated, and City Harvest has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food from the US Open since 1998.

For more information, visit www.usta.com or www.levyrestaurants.com.