Taste of Tennis Serves Up Great Food, Big Stars

Great Food, Great Tennis 'Go Hand in Hand', Said Chef Jerome Grant

John Isner prepares food with Chef Jerome Grant at Citi Taste Of Tennis DC at The Hamilton on July 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for AYS Sports Marketing)

Tennis all-star Sloane Stephens, currently ranked in the top ten by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) joined Grant onstage for a cooking demonstration. “I love food, and all my friends come,” said Stephens, “so it’s a nice little treat before the tournament starts.”

Stephens played Swedish player Rebecca Peterson the following day in the women’s singles at the Citi Open Tennis tournament takes place from July 27 to August 4 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center (5220 16th St. NW).

Grant said the pairing of chefs with tennis players makes for a great event for guests. “It’s just a good time,” he said. “At the end of the day, you just want to come out to a tennis event, see a great match but at the same time, our restaurant community is a team.”

“There’s so many folks that are involved with it, it’s different cultures, it’s everything that covers DC right now,” Grant added. “You have players from all over the world that come here to play, and at the same time you have folks from all these restaurants here in the city from different backgrounds [with] different stories. So it just goes hand-in-hand.”

Pro tennis players and many more sampled incredible cuisine including Gazpacho by John Mooney of Bidwell, Chicken Red Curry Basil Tikka and Lemon Rice courtesy of Punjab Grill’s Jassi Bindra, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pineapple Syrup by Leo Harvey, and various gelatos by Dolci Gelati.VIP guests in the Citigold Lounge kicked off the night at an exclusive question and answer session featuring John Isner, who is the Taste of Tennis Brand Ambassador. Isner said that it was an easy role for him to take on.

“They put on this incredible event every year, said Isner. “it’s easy for me to come to all these events cause they’re so much fun and you meet so many cool people and I think, most importantly, you eat a lot of great food. As a guy who likes to eat, which I do, this is a perfect venue for me tonight.”

“The great chefs come out and the stars come out and the players come out and the fans come out and enjoy it all,” he said. “It’s such a great event and the concept is so cool.”

The Citi Open Taste of Tennis benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF). The WTEF seeks to improve the life prospects for DC area youth, particularly those from lower-income communities, through tennis, educational and community-based activities that teach discipline, build self-esteem and improve academic performance.

Guests danced the night away to energetic beats by DJ Mad Linx and The Rakiem Walker Project, while enjoying Zonin Prosecco, Oban Whiskey, and Diplomático Rum.