Craig Cignarelli Eats His Way Across The Taste Of Tennis At The U.S.Open Kickoff Party

Written by: on 24th August 2017
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Craig Cignarelli Eats His Way Across The Taste Of Tennis At The U.S.Open Kickoff Party  |

Tonight’s Taste of Tennis event at the “W” Hotel in midtown Manhattan brought out a doubles pairing of tennis stars and culinary whizzes.

 

Host Masaharu Morimoto’s eyes resemble oysters and when the ingredients come out from the kitchen, you see the pearls of wisdom inside. The guy can flat out cook. Under his watchful eye, a score of restauranteurs took the floor for three hours of food preparation good enough to bring tears. It’s the kind of perfection that, when you eat it, the conversation with the next day’s plumber goes -

“Thank you for coming Mr. Plumber man.”

“No, no, thank you!”

 

Morimoto is the room’s Alpha, an inconvenient position for a member of a culture as polite and humble as the Japanese. Other chefs see him the way tennis players see Roger or Rafa, the envious stares covering a deep desire to best him in competition, but also very aware that if he is on his game, there is no chance in hell he won’t win.

 

With this level of culinary expertise, one would expect to witness some interesting ingredients. The Taste of Tennis does not disappoint. Guadillo-spiced corn stew with cojita cheese and corn mayo. Wasabi oysters with pickled ginger and a vodka shot, not to mention a few other things I can’t even spell properly.

 

Mixed amongst the food, Gael Monfils, Nick Kyrgios and Francis Tiafoe are spinning music and handling the mic almost as well as their racquets. Downstairs, Kayla Day and Andrea Petkovic and Lauren Davis stroll the floor with fashion model flaunting. The crowd here is millennial, gorgeous and intent on devouring the food, the music and the moment.

 

What makes the evening interesting is the efficiency. These chefs are cooking for several hundred attendees and the quality is spot on. Plate after plate crosses the table and the presentation and culinary artistry remains pure. Morimoto may eventually have some competition but for tonight, it’s just a great party. Next week, the US OPEN begins.

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