Ace chefs upping their game for US Open crowds in Queens

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Tennis champs like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal aren’t the only draws at the US Open tennis tournament, which kicks off Monday in Queens.

An unprecedented number of culinary chefs are lining up to feed the roughly 700,000 fans who are expected to attend, sources said.

Newcomers to the annual tennis event in Flushing Meadows include tapas king José Andrés, “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio of Gramercy Tavern, and Jacques Torres, known for his eponymous chocolatier.

They will join veteran US Open headliners like chef David Burke, who this year has revamped a US Open staple, Mojito, which is now called Mojito by David Burke. It has been transformed into a new Cuban-Asian-American fusion hotspot.

“We have refreshed it,” Burke said of the venue, whose menu is inspired by Ventanas, Burke’s restaurant in Fort Lee, NJ, with partner Alex Duran.

Burke also will bring back his Fish Shack stand at the Grandstand Food Village, which is the US Open’s concession stand. Burke’s Upper East Side restaurant David Burke Tavern also will be replacing its regular menu with an expanded Fish Shack menu while the US Open is on.

“This is the first year we’ve had so many celebrity chefs,” Burke said of this year’s Open. “The variety spreads it out so we can focus on variety and flavor. Fans can spend a day seeing some matches and eating some great meals.”

All in all, the US Open will offer five restaurants, 60 concession stands and food for 90 suites.

Chef Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup will launch Butterfly, with tacos and tortas, at Food Village and Arthur Ashe Stadium’s Club Level, while Colicchio’s Witchcraft will have an outpost for its sandwiches and salads.

Also new this year is sportswear Champion’s foodie partnership with Benjamin Steakhouse called Champions by Benjamin Steakhouse.

“Top Chef” alums Joe Flamm and Joe Sasto will also join chef Tony Mantuano at Cafe Spiaggia, a modern Italian restaurant. Mantuano will also be back helming Wine Bar Food.

New Zealand may not have a tennis contender among the star performers, but the Kim Crawford Wine Garden is new to Flushing Meadows, and will highlight the official New Zealand wines of the US Open.

Lure Fishbar, from restaurateur John McDonald and star chef Josh Capon, returns, and Michelin-starred chef Ed Brown and “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto will run Aces, the Open’s crown seafood jewel.

US Open Glance Tennis

Sights at the US Open inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

AP

arthur-ashe

Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Shutterstock


“Food is taken extremely seriously here, more than anywhere else in the world, literally,” said Brown, who is also food and beverage consultant to the US tennis governing body. “This is a world-class event. Five star is a must.”

Along with Burke’s Fish Shack, the concession stand area will feature new offerings, like Dumpling Galaxy from Helen You.

JJ Johnson’s Fieldtrip, which debuted at the Open last year, has since opened in Harlem. It returns with its globally inspired heirloom rice bowls, along with Fuku, the trendy fried chicken spot from David Chang of Momofuku.

What’s more, JoJu is a modern take on traditional Vietnamese sandwiches, and Oakberry will offer trendy açaí bowls and other healthy bites. Some of the names rounding out the food participants include Hill Country Barbecue, Melt Shop, Korilla BBQ and Poke Yachty.


Candy maker Sugarfina, which has been seeking to upend the $200 billion-a-year confection industry with offerings like booze-filled gummy bears, is upping the ante — yet again.

Next month, the luxury “adult” candy company will partner with actor Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation gin to create gin-infused sweet treats, Rosie O’Neill, co-founder of Sugarfina, exclusively told Side Dish.

Sugarfina is also gearing up to launch a new holiday line of diamond-encrusted gold gummy bears through its partnership with jewelry designer Alex Woo.

Woo’s initial 14-karat solid gold “champagne gummy bear” necklace did not have diamonds, but has been spotted on celebrities like Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen and “Today” show food contributor Siri Daly.

“Launching luxury brand partnerships further distinguishes Sugarfina from creeping competitors, like Vosges, Dylan’s, and Lolli and Pops,” said branding guru Jarrod Moses, founder of United Entertainment Group.


WE HEAR … that Morris Moinian’s Fortuna Realty has quietly launched its fifth hotel, on West 38th Street and Fifth Avenue. It features Paloma, a Latin American eatery helmed by chef PJ Calapa, along with a rooftop bar and lounge. The building features 176 guest rooms and was designed by LA based-firm Marcello Pozzi.