On Aug 29. 2015, the luxurious Langham Place New York Fifth Avenue hotel was the place to be. Tennis stars Andy Murray, Sloane Stephens, John Isner and Victoria Azarenka were on hand. Other notables in attendance included reality star Andi Dorfman, chefs Admir Alibasic and David Vandenabeele and Robin Flanz, who is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Langham Place. DJ Lu Ong was on the turntables and the light bites were delicious. Guests sipped on Russian Standard vodka infused cocktails and Mouton Cadet wine. Attendance was limited to 150 guests and attendees at the Party with the Pros enjoyed an evening of great food, handcrafted signature cocktails and live music, while rubbing elbows with some of the top names in professional tennis.
Also, on Aug. 29, Hess presented the twentieth annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. The fun family event was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing. Bea Miller, American Authors, Natalie La Rose, Kalin and Myles, DJ Alex Angelo and Jacob Whiteside all teamed up with tennis stars Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal to kick-off the 2015 US Open. At the event, which aired on Aug. 30, Natalie La Rose performed her smash “Somebody” and the American Authors had everyone in their feet for their very catchy track “Best Day Of My Life.” Def Jam artist Alessia Cara, whose new EP “Four Pink Walls” dropped this past week performed on the Hess Festival Stage. Her track “Here” is dope. On Aug. 27, atombash.com was also on the scene for the sixteenth Annual Taste of Tennis at the W New York hotel. Both Serena and Venus Williams were in attendance. Venus even participated in a live cooking demo with celebrity chef Marc Murphy. A portion of the evening’s proceeds went to the rehabilitation of Eli Kulp, a beloved Philadelphia-based chef who was paralyzed in the recent Amtrak train derailment.
Chef Francois Payard shared on the red carpet, “I’m holding the new watch for Rado and they asked me create in this chocolate color of gold, but everything edible … The idea was to create a Macaroon in the look of the new design, elegant, ceramic looking and a little bit of gold to it.”
Chef Kerry Heffernan discussed his dish, “So we have a Montauk sea bream crudo. It’s an under appreciated fish. It’s something people aren’t paying enough attention to. We at Grand Banks are all about sustainable seafood. We want to make sure what we serve is sustainable and we’re not shortening the life of our ocean’s biomasses. I think it’s a big problem. So it’s Grand Banks beautiful oyster bar, it’s at N. Moore street and West Side Highway and it’s gorgeous.”
Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop discussed his dish stating, “We have all types of different cuisines represented at our restaurant and therefore we decided to make a Jamaican inspired meatball … jerk chicken meatballs with mango, potato, raisin chutney.”
Marc Murphy said “I think it’s a great event, great people show up and I think this year for the charities for that chef who got injured, very important to me. Obviously one of our colleagues got hurt and it’s time to help out. I’m doing two things, I’m doing a demo with a grilled vegetable salad. I’m also doing a goat cheese profiterole.”
SM: Talk about what you cooked today.
John Mooney: Today I made, inspired by my rooftop garden, a couple of different heirloom tomato recipes, chilled soup, and a homemade burrata cheese with tomatoes and basil that I grew here in the West Village.
SM: Talk about the restaurant that you own.
JM: I own Bell Book and Candle here in the West Village. That’s all sustainable concept. Even the materials I built it with. I have Bidwell in Washington D.C, in Holsum Washington D.C, and Kakele outside Honolulu.
SM: Why is it important to be a part of this event today.
JM: I’ve always been a part of the event since its inception in like ’97 or ’98. So it’s always great sponsors, always good charity, always great personalities and I get to hang out with my buddies all night.
SM: So you’re Ben Pollinger from Oceana. Talk about the dish you made today.
Ben Pollinger: I’ve got Maine lobster sambar with a green mango salad. So it’s Maine new shell lobster, which is very sweet and tender. It’s served chilled, tossed with an Indian inspired sombar sauce which is a reduction of tomatoes, chilies and chickpeas, topped with a green mango salad.
SM: Why is it important to support this event.
BP: You know, we get to do what we do for a living which is cook for people, generally people who are coming to our restaurants are not coming because they simply need a meal today, they’re coming because they have the privilege to come out to a nice restaurant to eat and these are the people we’re cooking for most of the time and at the same time there’s hunger out there and society and people who don’t get to have the luxuries that we have. So in general if there’s something we can do to help people through our works it’s important to support it.
SM: Talk about the dish you made today.
Jonathan Waxman: I’ve been doing this Gnocchi because of a mistake I made ten years ago. I was doing a dinner with my wife and my wife goes, “Honey, where’s the Gnocchi,” I said, “In the freezer.” She goes, “Not a good place to be.” So I took the frozen Gnocchi and I sautéed it in butter over high heat, threw some truffles in, it’s the best thing I’ve ever ate in my life. And so it’s been on the menu of Barbuto since then.
SM: What do you love about this event?
JW: I love tennis. I love giving back. I love raising money so kids can play tennis. I love hanging out with tennis people. C’mon. The U.S. Open is the greatest event in New York. It really is.
SM: You represent Langham Place. Talk about the dish that you made today.
David Vandenabeele: I’m making a smoked salmon with camembert. So we wrap camembert with smoked salmon and some sesame and we serve it with caramelized onions.
SM: Talk about supporting this event today and being involved.
DV: It’s amazing. It’s a massive event for America, the U.S. Open. And all the other chefs and the famous players. So it’s good to mingle with them and see how they’re skilled in cooking and it’s fun.
SM: How did you get your start in the whole cuisine business?
DV: I started 30 years ago when I was 12 years old. My mom used to love cooking and I just got involved and I would help her out. And then when I was 12, I went to a small restaurant and every weekend and the evenings, went there to work. I’m from Belgium.
SM: Talk about the dish you made today.
Floyd Cardoz: I am making a dish, sprouted pea salad with peanut, sesame, lime, and honey.
SM: And why did you decide to bring that one to the event today?
FC: Because it’s light, it’s fresh, it’s meant for summer. And if you’re gonna play tennis, that’s what you gotta eat.
SM: So talk about the restaurant you own.
FC: So I own a restaurant in Bombay called the Bombay Canteen. I’m a partner White Street. I’m also opening a restaurant in New York by the end of the year.
SM: They had a great party at White Street during the Tribeca Film Festival for Misty Copeland’s documentary.
FC: Yes, we did.
SM: What’s next for you?
FC: I’ve got another book I’m working on called “Flavor Wallah.” It’s being released in April of next year.
SM: You’ve come for many years, what do you love about it?
Victoria Azarenka: Everything. They have sports, athletes, they have food, they have music. What else do you need?
SM: Obviously your game comes alive on the hard court. How do you feel coming into this year’s open?
VA: I’m feeling really excited. I think it’s one of the most exciting events of the year and I love that I had great results and great memories. And I’m looking to continue to improve, you know I always take this approach day by day. It’s a long tournament and it’s a tough competition so just try to stay in the moment and definitely enjoy the moment.
SM: You’ve been number one in the world, you had a rough year last year, you’re on the comeback trail and you’re having a pretty solid year this year, is it harder going up the first time or coming back after you’ve been at the top?
VA: I believe definitely coming back but it’s also different and it’s more exciting for me. I’ve learned so much over a year and a half. It’s been really tough for me so I take it as a: sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward.
The Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge took place on Aug. 26 at City View Racquet Club. New York’s top chefs faced off to see who would be crowned king (or queen) of the court. After the match, guests joined the chefs for a post tournament awards reception. The event was co-hosted by Kerry Heffernan and SNY anchor, Michelle Yu. Participants included: Marc Murphy, Jonathan Waxman, Kerry Heffernan, Floyd Cardoz, Daniel Holzman and Bill Telepan, to name a few. A portion of proceeds from the evening benefitted City Harvest. Taste of Tennis was presented by Hennessy Paradis Imperial, the country of Jamaica, Mouton Cadet, Rado Switzerland, Zepp and Citigold had a special lounge at the event.