Food News

First-Ever Taste of Tennis: Miami Open Stars Get "Served"

Last week the inaugual Taste of Tennis descended upon South Beach’s sandy shores for an evening of eating, imbibing, and sportsmanship with some of the best in the game. A big deal in New York City, Taste of Tennis has been kicking off the US Open Tennis Championships for 15 years and counting. Hoping that the tradition sticks here for the Miami Open, which began last week, Taste of Tennis, presented by Citi, was held poolside at the W Hotel South Beach as a kickoff soiree for the tournament.

The alfresco event brought together tennis greats such as the top doubles team of all time, Bob and Mike Bryan, as well as Feliciano Lopez, Ivo Karlovic, Lucie Safarova, Sam Groth, Sabine Lisicki, Alison Riske, Andrea Petkovic, and Ekaterina Makarova. Miami’s top toques served (pun intended) dishes for a good cause (proceeds from ticket sales went to FIU's College of Architecture and the Arts).
The Dutch's Andrew Carmellini happily abandoned New York’s cold weather for a sultry evening alongside chef de cuisine Conor Hanlon. Besides playing a couple of rounds of table tennis, Carmellini was in charge of feeding the guests in the Citi VIP lounge. So what do you give VIP ticketholders?
Deviled eggs with shaved winter truffles.  But also smoked salmon and everything macaron.
And scallop crudo with Scotch bonnet pepper and fresh passionfruit.
It didn’t end there. There were also beet lollipops coated in thyme, peanuts, and white chocolate — the epitome of an adult treat.
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill's Timon Balloo showed tennis beauty Alison Riske how his housemade whipped ricotta came together with farm beets and pistachio granola.
The finished product.
The soon-to-open Ella, from Michael Schwartz and daughter Ella, gave the crowd a taste of what’s to come via parmigiano-crusted grilled cheese stuffed with caramelized onion and topped with tomato jam.
Paula DaSilva from 3030 Ocean served a housemade sausage accompanied by spicy potato salad and relish.
Another surprise was the soon-to-open Alter, which dished out mini blue-crab cakes coated in Japanese rice crackers, pooled in ají amarillo, and topped with a dollop of culantro chimichurri. 

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.