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Players jump at chance to let fans into their kitchens
Published Jul 10, 2020
Events planning has been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean all the efforts have stopped. In the midst of the uncertainty, the #WhatsinURKitchen movement was born, and players have jumped at the chance to showcase their cooking skills.
Citi Taste of Tennis is a popular event held at big stops on the tennis tour each year, combining tennis stars and celebrity chefs. This year was going to be the biggest yet with parties planned for Melbourne, Indian Wells, Miami, Wimbledon, Washington and New York.
WhatsinURKitchen was started to showcase the chefs and their restaurants during this hard time, said Taste of Tennis CEO Penny Lerner.
"We thought we would get our fans, engaged peopled, involved in what they were doing in their kitchen because we all become home chefs overnight," she said. "The players started reaching out and saying we're cooking too."
Sam Querrey, Sofia Kenin, Bob and Mike Bryan, Denis Kudla, Andrea Petkovic and many more have been opening up their kitchens to their fans.
"Kenin was like I'm cooking a lot with my mom and I want to show my mom!" Lerner said. "They found themselves at home cooking and engaging and laughing with their family and doing things which they just would never have done. Which I think is what the Taste of Tennis did anyway."
Just like at Lerner's famous parties there's been a mix of different cuisines and styles.
"You meet a Kudla, who I didn't really know before, and he's like a professional cocktail mixologist," Lerner said. "He's really good, and now I know. There's real talent on the tour on the culinary side."
With everyone eagerly trying to make new dishes and get creative, there's always going to be some mishaps. Bob Bryan and his wife Michelle made a tortilla, and half of it didn't survive a flip.
"When she went to flip the pan over, half of the tortilla didn't make the pan and it just went right on the floor," Lerner said. "But those are moments. They're funny and we are all having this in the midst of this horrible situation. "
Even with the tours on hold until August, Taste of Tennis is adding new events and innovating constantly. There's a new weekly show with Evan King called "Off the Court" and on July 1 there was a virtual BBQ with celebrity chef Richard Blais and actor Omar Benson Miller.
"It's going to stay forever, even if we go back and there's a new normal to how it was, we're going to keep doing these digital events," Lerner said.