"This is what the Taste does, it brings people of all different cultures together to celebrate tennis and food and the cities that we’re in. It’s just cool to be a part of."
This week brings Citi Taste of Tennis CEO Penny Lerner to the show to shed light on how the events industry is faring during the pandemic. In normal times, Lerner would have just held a lavish party in New York City to kick off the US Open with regulars like Serena and Venus Williams walking the red carpet.
Lerner and her mother Judy are co-founders of AYS World, a sports marketing company that started Taste of Tennis over 20 years ago to give players a literal taste of the cities they are in with food from the best chefs in the world. Each year, the culinary-tennis extravaganza takes over Melbourne (new in 2020), Indian Wells, Miami, Washington, D.C. and New York (yet another new stop would have taken place in London).
With COVID-19 decimating the dining and events worlds, Lerner had to adapt and so #WhatsinURKitchen was born. Players like Sofia Kenin, Sam Querrey, Alison Riske and the Bryan brothers jumped at the chance to virtually show off their cooking skills on Instagram. The pandemic has been brutal for chefs and event planners, but the silver lining is Lerner has developed even stronger relationships within the tight-knit tennis and chef community.
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