Gail Simmons is back to lend her strong culinary expertise as a judge and critic for Bravo's Top Chef, the eleventh installment of its Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series, tasting and critiquing the competing chefs' creations each week. Gail is also the head critic of Top Chef Masters, and was previously host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry- focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise.
Gail joined Food & Wine in 2004 and directs special projects for the magazine, acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on magazine events and chef-related initiatives, working closely with the country’s top culinary talent. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to joining Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Gail was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants, and worked for esteemed food critic Jeffrey Steingarten at Vogue. Throughout her career, Gail has contributed to several cookbooks, including It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten, Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City, and The New American Chef by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. Gail’s first book, her very own memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.
Gail makes frequent television appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends,
among others. She has been featured in New York Magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times,
and was named the No. 1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post.
She also has appeared at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, New York City Wine & Food Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Kohler Food & Wine Experience, and the Cayman Cookout. She can also be seen in the online video series The Pantry Project
, where she teaches viewers new ways to cook with the staples, both familiar and unusual, in their kitchens.
Gail is an active supporter of Common Threads, an organization that teaches low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals. She was a founding member of the Food & Wine’s Grow for Good Campaign to raise funds and awareness for sustainable agriculture programs in the United States. She also sits on the boards of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, the American Institute of Wine & Food, the Institute of Culinary Education’s Alumni Committee, and the Women at NBCU Advisory Board.
Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy.