'Top Chef' Alums Reunite for Kosta Browne Cook-Off

Six contestants from season 16 packed into the winery's kitchen to create a heady feast for Pinot Noir, and we were on the scene

'Top Chef' Alums Reunite for Kosta Browne Cook-Off
Chef Brian Young makes a palate palette in the KB kitchen. (Shaunte' Dittmar Photography, c/o Kosta Browne Winery)
Nov 21, 2019

Friday was a big night for 50 lovers of Pinot Noir and reality TV. Season 16 cast members from one of Unfiltered’s favorite reality cooking competitions, Bravo’s Top Chef, teamed with Top Winery Kosta Browne for a special reunion dinner in the barrel cellar. In the Sonoma winery's tiny kitchen, young chefs David Viana, Eddie Konrad, Brandon Rosen, Michelle Minori, Caitlin Steininger and Brian Young, all alums of the most recent season, prepared passed appetizers and entrées as part of a six-course meal paired with rare Kosta Browne wines.

Top Chefs at Kosta Browne
Everyone's a winner! (Shaunte' Dittmar Photography, c/o Kosta Browne Winery)

The story of Top Chef and Kosta Browne started with good food, good wine and good people. And french fries. Winery reps first met the chefs by chance before an event in Chicago and shared bottles of Champagne and Kosta Browne Pinot Noir—and Shake Shack burgers and fries; a more formal pairing event in June followed. “It’s been a wonderful, whirlwind relationship that started in Chicago, and has found its way here to the winery,” Viana said at the event.

The gaggle of chefs quickly occupied every inch of the kitchen's counter space with plates, mise en place and wineglasses filled with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and then it was showtime. For Unfiltered, a highlight from the evening’s menu was Michelle Minori’s chewy yet fluffy squid ink strozzapreti with lobster, pine nuts, crunchy potato crumble and pimenton paired with the 2016 Russian River Valley Treehouse Vineyard Pinot. Minori made the pasta from freshly milled Desert King durum wheat from the San Joaquin Valley, near her hometown of Lodi, Calif. When Unfiltered asked her about cooking in wine country, she admitted that her first time in Napa and Sonoma surprised her. “I was confused by these tiny twigs that they called vines,” she laughed, referencing Lodi’s reputation for gnarled old vines.

Top Chefs at Kosta Browne
No one to pack their knives and go this time: Eddie Konrad and Michelle Minori in the kitchen (Shaunte' Dittmar Photography, c/o Kosta Browne Winery)

For its part, KB has been regularly bringing in star chefs for a few years now as part of its Chef Series. “We are forever pursuing increasing the quality of our wines, and we felt that it is right to partner with those in the culinary world who share the same obsession,” Kosta Browne’s director of hospitality Damon Wong told us.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered Actors California Sonoma

You Might Also Like

Wrestler Chris Jericho’s Wine Fires Up Fans … and Enemies

Wrestler Chris Jericho’s Wine Fires Up Fans … and Enemies

The champ is making a bubbly called A Little Bit of the Bubbly. But what does the reigning …

Dec 6, 2019
I Heard You Paint Teeth: The Wine Cameos in 'The Irishman'

I Heard You Paint Teeth: The Wine Cameos in 'The Irishman'

The movie's prop master divulges how he made sure the real-life wine labels that appear in …

Dec 4, 2019
Mouton Unveils 2017 Art Label (… NSFW?)

Mouton Unveils 2017 Art Label (… NSFW?)

The Rothschild family tapped artist Annette Messager, who took a more risqué approach than …

Nov 21, 2019
Latest Hot Wine Movie Star: DRC's Aubert de Villaine

Latest Hot Wine Movie Star: DRC's Aubert de Villaine

Filmmaker Marie-Ange Gorbanevsky highlights Burgundy’s greatest vineyards and cellars in …

Nov 20, 2019
Explorers Crack 'Most Extreme' Shipwreck to Find 100-Year-Old Booze, Actually Taste It

Explorers Crack 'Most Extreme' Shipwreck to Find 100-Year-Old Booze, Actually Taste It

For 20 years, researchers have tried to salvage the S.S. Kyros, sunk in the Baltic in 1917. …

Nov 15, 2019
Record Flood Swamps Venice's Unique Vineyard

Record Flood Swamps Venice's Unique Vineyard

The audacious but risky Venissa project in the Venetian lagoon was hit by the city's …

Nov 14, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search