As the name would suggest, grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes.
Chefs love it because it has a neutral taste and a somewhat high smoke point (a bit higher than canola, and much higher than olive), which makes it perfect for sautéing and other higher-heat applications. For example, it’s a great choice for searing meat without adding any burnt oil off-flavours.
Its unobtrusive flavour makes it a very versatile general-purpose cooking oil in the home or professional kitchen. It can be used for many of the same purposes as canola oil – including deep frying – and canola is a reasonable substitute if you don’t have grapeseed oil on hand. It’s also a great substitute for olive oil in light, simple dressings and vinaigrettes where you want the oil to disappear into the background, allowing the acid – lemon juice, etc. – and other ingredients to take centre stage.
While grapeseed oil is far less common in home use than in commercial kitchens, it’s not all that hard to find. You should be able to find a few bottles at well-stocked grocery stores, usually hiding near the vast selection of olive oil. Prices vary, but expect it to be somewhere between canola and olive.