Working as a line cook in a high-end professional kitchen was invaluable to my understanding of the world of cooking and definitely gave me an edge over others at my level trying to build a career in food writing, marketing, etc.
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Gail joined Food & Wine magazine in 2004, where she directs special projects, working closely with the country’s top culinary talent and acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on events and chef-related initiatives. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing the annual Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to working at Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend ICE. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants, and worked as the assistant to Vogue magazine’s esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten.
In 2014, Gail and her business partner Samantha Hanks, founded Bumble Pie Productions, an original content company dedicated to discovering and promoting new female voices in the food and lifestyle space. Their first series, “Star Plates”—a collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment—premiered in Fall 2016 on the Food Network.
In addition to her work on Top Chef, Gail makes frequent television appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The Chew, among others. She is regularly featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post.
- Institute of Culinary Education, Culinary Arts, 1999
Awards and Honors
- Award of Excellence, Spoons Across America, 2016
- Outstanding Reality-Competition Program (Top Chef), Emmy Award, 2010
- Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, 2017
- Talking With My Mouth Full, Hyperion, 2012
Affiliations & Memberships
- City Harvest
- Hot Bread Kitchen
- Common Threads
- Institute of Culinary Education, Program Advisory Council