2014/07/31

Chef Pierrick Boyer Serving Taste of Tennis Down Under

Pierrick Boyer

(January 4, 2013) The Australian Open is less than two weeks away and with the anticipation of an upcoming major, Melbourne will play host many pre-tournament soirees. One of the very special events will be the Swisse Taste of Tennis – where the culinary world meets the tennis world to raise funds for charity. This is the sister event to the Taste of Tennis in New York which has kicked off the US Open for the past 13 years.

Some of the tennis players scheduled to participate in the event include Lleyton Hewitt, Max Myrni, Tamira Paszek, Ivan Lendl, Lucia Safarova, Casey Dellacqua, Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Yaraslava Shvedova and Chanelle Scheepers.

Tennis Panorama News caught up with award-winning international pastry chef, Melbourne resident Pierrick Boyer, who will be one of the featured chefs at Taste of Tennis. Boyer has 21 years in the field working with some of the industry’s most internationally renowned chefs.

Boyer has participated in the event four times. “Let’s not forget it’s a charity event and it is one of my favorite events of the year,” Boyer emphasized. “It is fun, there is beautiful food, we talk about sports and there are great people who want to make a difference. I love giving my time for charities, tennis, food and promoting Melbourne.” Boyer is the Head Pastry Chef of Le Petit Gâteau in Melbourne.

“Yes, I am a big (tennis) fan,” Boyer said. “I’ve been to the Indian Wells Tournament, because I lived nearby for five years and, of course, the Australian Open where, luckily, I did some cooking classes for the tennis players. I had the pleasure to meet Aleksandra Wozniak, Arina and Anastasia Rodionova, Gael Monfils and Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, who are fantastic to see on the court. And I used to play years ago,” Boyer said with a smile.

I asked Boyer if he thought there was a similarity between chefs and tennis players, since both have intense training and travel all over the globe. Also many of players seem to be “foodies.”

“I agree,” said Boyer.” We have this in common with some chefs who travel the world and I am lucky I can do this as well, several countries are already scheduled for my desserts making workshops overseas. But the life of a tennis player is hard as well, loads of traveling and that’s a lot of time away from home.”

As far as which tennis players he thinks would be good pastry chefs, he tips Arina Rodionova and Aleksandra Wozniak. “With a bit of practice Arina Rodionova could be because I know she enjoys my pear and almond tart. She had this for her birthday.”

“Aleksandra Wozniak really enjoyed my signature cake, the brownie passion chocolate crunch, at a previous Taste of Tennis event,” Boyer added.

So what inspired him to launch a career in the world of pastry? “At four or five years old, we were living next to a pastry shop at Croissy Sur Seine, near Saint Germain en Laye! And every time my parents were looking for me, I was next door sampling ice creams, cakes, croissants… hahaha.”

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As far as what special dish he will be preparing for Taste of Tennis, he saidIt’s a gluten free, dairy free, very healthy dessert.”

It’s a Coconut Quinoa organic blueberry, raspberry, coconut crumble. Boyer told me to enjoy it with Gold Label 2011 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

The Swisse Taste of Tennis takes place on January 10, 2013 at Grand Hyatt Melbourne from 7pm-10pm with an after party at Silk Road Melbourne. Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://www.swisseactivetasteoftennis.com.au

The event benefits the charities Diabetes Australia-Victoria and National Institute of Integrated Medicine (NIIM), which will receive 100% of the proceeds raised.

Follow @tasteoftennisau for more information and follow Pierrick Boyer on twitter @PierrickBoyer or his website http://www.pierrickboyer.com/.

 

Karen Pestaina is the woman behind Tennis Panorama News

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“The Court Jester” – Mansour Bahrami

Mansour Bahrami – The Court Jester

Ana Ivanovic is not the only tennis pro who learned to play the game in an empty swimming pool. Meet Mansour Bahrami who is probably one of the most talented tennis “legends” you may not know. He first learned tennis in Iran in an swimming pool using a broom handle as a racquet.  In his book The Court Jester – My story by Mansour Bahrami (2009, AuthorHouse, English translation by Nigel Forrest) Bahrami examines his life from childhood to the present day as a favorite on the Legends circuit.

Bahrami, born in 1956, played on the ATP tour from the mid-seventies through the nineties attaining career high rankings of 192 in singles and 31 in doubles. Bahrami, along with his doubles partner Eric Winogradsky reached the doubles final of Roland Garros in 1989.

I first had the pleasure of seeing him play during the US Open many years ago during the Legends doubles events before it changed to its current World Team Tennis format. He both impresses and delights audiences with his athletic ability, trick shots, showmanship and genuine love for the game. I recently spoke with him on the phone from his Paris home about the book.

The inspiration to write The Court Jester came from former pro and former coach of Roger Federer – Peter Lundgren. During the course of a three-hour car ride with Lundgren, Bahrami told his life story. Lundgren urged him to put down on paper saying – “it’s not a life, it’s an adventure story.”

Bahrami who was born in Iran, was on the cusp of entering the ATP circuit top tier level in the 1970’s when political turmoil exploded in his country. The Shah was deposed and with the Ayatollah Khomeini ruling Iran, tennis was banned throughout the country. Despite many barriers he was still able to achieve his dream of becoming a professional tennis player competing with the likes of “Borg. McEnroe, Connors and the rest..”

“Came the revolution and then we couldn’t play (tennis) anymore.” So Bahrami left Iran for France for the opportunity to play professional tennis again. “When I came to France for three and a half months not being able to play because with an Iranian passport I could not go anywhere. I started on the ATP Tour after 30 years old.”

His family still remains in Iran. He calls the state of tennis in Iran “terrible”  and feels the government is not doing much for sport in general, especially tennis. “Tennis is at the bottom of all the sports. The president of the federation was telling me that they have budget of 40 thousand dollars year.”

So who are Bahrami’s favorite players to watch in today’s game? “Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and (Jo-Wilfred) Tsonga.”

The book is an autobiography, historical novel, and adventure story all rolled into one. Along with engaging stories about how he overcame all of his challenges in life, the chapters focusing on being on the tour with Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas are priceless and not to be missed.

The Court Jester is available at AuthorHouse.com and Amazon.com. He also has a fan page on FaceBook.

Bahrami continues to play a very full schedule, which includes Legends events at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and many other smaller events around the globe. He intends to keep playing tennis as long as he is able to perform. If you have a chance to see him play or rather, “perform,” do not pass up on the opportunity – he is a magical showman on court whom everyone will enjoy, tennis fan or not.

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