By CBSNewYork Team

QUEENS, NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The US Open returns to Flushing Meadows next week and fans will be making their way back to the stands for the first time since 2019. While fans will be able to watch some of the best tennis players in the world like Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, they will also be able to eat food from some of the best chefs in the world.

Award-winning chef and Field Trip restaurant owner JJ Johnson is back at the US Open for the third time. Johnson is known for his famous mantra that “rice is culture” and his restaurants in Harlem, Long Island City and Manhattan are super popular because of the diversity of rice bowls that his restaurants offer. CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith chatted with Johnson about what fans can expect from him this year, why rice is culture and what it’s been like to be a chef during the global pandemic.

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“The US Open is back and coming back strong,” said Johnson. “To bring our food back to the US Open means a lot. For food and delicious food in stadiums, the US Open is the premier of it all. And we have Field Trip here with heirloom rice grains and something better for you in the stadium. We are giving you this super high end product, in a food court, that’s really good. It gets no better and it is the same food you would see if you were sitting down at a restaurant. It’s good for everybody, it’s a global approach and everyone who is walking in and out of the stadium can get Field Trip.”

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Johnson and his team will be preparing delicious options such as a Chicken Bowl with crispy fried or grilled chicken, a Braised Beef Bowl with Texas Brown Rice, a Veggie Bowl with Jollof Basmati Rice and a brand new bowl called the Cornmeal Crusted Cod with herbed rice and tartar sauce.

“We are even bringing our rice krispie treats from Harlem,” said Johnson. “It’s going to be really good. This is our third year at the US Open and every year we go back and reengineer what we think is missing. It’s not just tennis competition, it’s food competition. All of us chefs are competing against each other for who is putting out the best dish. When I come to the US Open, I’m thinking I want some fried fish because it’s warm outside and I want that with a nice cold beer. That’s why we brought the Cornmeal Crusted Fish and it’s also gluten-free. A lot of people are looking for gluten-free options.”

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Field Trip is a gluten-free and nut-free stand and the food will be available when the US Open kicks off on Monday, August 30 in Queens.

CBSNewYork Team