Devvarman Dines At Collectors Club
by Matt Fitzgerald|
One of the great off-court events at the Sony Ericsson Open is hosted by caterer Great Performances. In conjunction with the James Beard Foundation and held at the Collectors Club, the 11-day series brings in signature dishes of regarded local chefs, all of which have won the prestigious James Beard award. Rotating chefs throughout the tournament, the Collectors Club attracts guests who may not be devoted tennis followers, providing the tournament with an untapped market.
Each day, a three-course menu of a local chef is presented to guests, serving both lunch and dinner. In the evenings, an interactive opportunity is available to patrons, giving them the chance to connect with an ATP World Tour or WTA player through a question and answer session. Thursday evening featured Somdev Devvarman, who won his first-round match against Potito Starace a day earlier. Tennis industry icon Bud Collins interviewed the World No. 73 in front of a relaxed crowd.
The 26-year-old Indian was asked about the meaning of his name. “Som means alcohol, Dev means God. So basically, it translates to God of alcohol,” said Devvarman to the amusement of those in attendance. Collins replied, “No, it means don’t drink when you play!”
The demands of being a tennis player mean there aren’t many opportunities to take part in a unique event like this series and Devvarman was happy to be involved with the evening’s festivities.
“It’s a rare opportunity to do something like this,” he said. “I like the fact that I get to meet new people and interact with non-tennis fans. It’s something different and I’m honored to be here.”
When asked about his culinary abilities, he admitted his cooking wasn’t his forte. “I don’t really cook for myself. Sometimes, I don’t eat what I’ve made,” laughed Devvarman. “I occasionally cook for my dogs and even they don’t like what I serve!”
A fan followed up his response, asking about his dogs. To everyone’s surprise, he not only had three dogs, but three different breeds – a Great Dane, a Labrador retriever, and a pug.
Today’s menu featured the creations of Chef de Cuisine Samuel Gorenstein of BLT Steak Miami. Just 25 years old, he’s established himself as one of America’s superior chefs. BLT steak is an American steakhouse infused with exquisite French influences of culinary expert Laurent Touronde. Gorenstein is credited with adding a home-grown Miami flavor to the restaurant, which recently received a three-and-a-half star rave review from Victoria Pesce of The Miami Herald.
Like tennis players, chefs are kept busy year round. Gorenstein, a native of Columbia, was excited to mix things up. “It’s great to be here. It’s nice to get away from the restaurant. What I like most is the opportunity to show tennis fans that sporting events can offer food other than standard hot dogs by giving high-quality food with local ingredients.”
The theme of the menu was inspired by popular selections at BLT Steak and the change in seasons.
“Fish is my love and the lunch entrée included local swordfish,” said Gorenstein. “We wanted to keep the menu current and design it around the new spring season. We brought both fish and steak, which we’re well known for.”
Upcoming chefs include Kris Wessel (3/26-3/28), Michelle Bernstein (3/29-4/1) and Norman Van Aken (4/2-4/3).
Get the VIP treatment and go behind the scenes with the 2013 Priceless Experiences Program Presented by MasterCard. Go
This exclusive venue features an upscale restaurant, trendy bar and lounge area which allow guests the opportunity to escape the heat.Go