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Eat and Drink

U.S. Open food: Celeb chefs JJ Johnson, Marc Forgione and more bring new eats to Flushing Meadows

The Grand Slam tournament opens play on Monday.

Chefs Tony Mantuano, from left, Jim Abbey, Masahura

Chefs Tony Mantuano, from left, Jim Abbey, Masahura Morimoto, Ed Brown, Marc Forgione and David Burke get together Thursday during a 2018 U.S. Open food tasting preview. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

Several of the city’s top chefs are hoping to serve up some aces at the U.S. Open.

Chef JJ Johnson, who is set to open a new restaurant, Field Trip, in Harlem this fall, previewed some of his delectable rice bowls for audiences Thursday.

His offerings at the Grand Slam tennis tournament include: crispy jerk BBQ chicken thigh + Carolina Gold rice, piri piri salmon and pineapple black rice and grilled shrimp, crispy coconut rice + jollof sauce.

Johnson said these dishes have distinct American, Chinese and West African/SouthEast Asian flavors.

“I felt these places make up the consumption of rice around the world and what better place to launch than here at the U.S. Open where it’s on the world’s stage,” Johnson told amNewYork during a tasting event on Thursday.

This is the first year Johnson and Chef Marc Forgione’s dishes are being offered to U.S. Open audiences, who already enjoy the food stylings of Ed Brown, David Burke, Josh Capon, David Chang, Esther Choi, Tony Mantuano, Masaharu Morimoto and Marcus Samuelsson.

“We try to find people that are on the radar for fans and guests culinarily… somebody who’s maybe doing something a little different, maybe filling a niche we haven’t offered,” said chef Jennifer Cox, vice president of culinary at Levy Restaurants, who works with the chefs on their U.S. Open menus.

Eateries are located across the sprawling USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, at restaurants and concessions.

Restaurant Champions by American Cut will include popular offerings from Forgione’s restaurants, including the OG 1942 Hotel Caesar, the chili lobster and the 40-ounce porterhouse steak.

“We like to consider ourselves an iconic New York steakhouse, and this is an iconic New York event,” said Forgione. “We looked at the menu and we took our crowd favorites.”

This year, Chang is selling a new 110 Burger at Fuku, comprising two LaFrieda beef patties topped with cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, pickles and Fuku mayo on Hot Bread Kitchen bing bread. Another addition to the menu is the Knockout Sandwich, spicy fried chicken thighs on a Martin’s potato roll, with pickles and Fuku butter.

More than 700,000 fans attend the U.S. Open, which runs this year from Monday through Sept. 9. Various eateries expect to serve up 225,000 hamburgers and hot dogs, 90,000 pounds of beef, 85,000 pounds of poultry and 7.5 tons of crab, shrimp and lobster.


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