What’s the Best White Wine for Cooking? Here Are the Top Bottles (and How to Choose Them, According to 3 Food Pros)

You’re whipping up a classic chicken Marbella, and the Ina Garten recipe you’re following calls for “dry white wine.” You can’t exactly phone the Contessa herself, but come on, Ina: What the heck does that even mean? Pinot grigio is dry…but so is sauvignon blanc. What gives?

Cooking with wine can be totally confusing. While you might be tempted to grab whatever is hanging out in the back of your fridge, it actually does matter which bottle you choose—to an extent. We asked three food professionals (including a master sommelier, a chef and a nutrition director) to find out once and for all how to choose the best white wine for cooking.

1. Choose a white wine with high acidity and light fruit flavors

Celine Beitchman, director of nutrition at the Institute of Culinary Education, suggests a light- to medium-bodied white for cooking. “Unless you’re making a sweet

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‘Top Chef’ champ on food appropriation, rediscovering L.A.

Bryan Voltaggio, from left, Stephanie Cmar and Melissa King compete in the "Top Chef: All-Stars L.A." finale. <span class="copyright">(Ernesto Ruscio / Bravo)</span>
Bryan Voltaggio, from left, Stephanie Cmar and Melissa King compete in the “Top Chef: All-Stars L.A.” finale. (Ernesto Ruscio / Bravo)

The following story contains spoilers from the season finale of “Top Chef All-Stars: Los Angeles.”

“Top Chef All-Stars: Los Angeles” came to a dramatic conclusion on Thursday night as the remaining three chefs — Bryan Voltaggio, Stephanie Cmar and Melissa King — were tasked with serving a group of international culinary legends in Tuscany, Italy. On the menu? “The best progressive four-course meal of your life,” said host, judge and executive producer Padma Lakshmi.

The Season 17 champion of the Bravo competition series was Melissa King, who paired her Italian techniques and local ingredients with the Chinese flavors of her San Gabriel Valley childhood: char siu glazed octopus with fennel, squash agnolotti with Szechuan chili oil, grilled squab with persimmon, porcini and fermented black bean, and Hong Kong

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