Gail Simmons Talks Memoir, Career

The 'Mary Ann' to Padma's 'Ginger' gets real.


Gail Simmons is rocking Judges' Table every Wednesday on Top Chef: Texas right now, but the very busy editrix is ramping up for another big event: the release of her memoir, Talking With my Mouth Full, early next year.

Gail talked with AdWeek about why, though she went to culinary school and worked for Le Cirque and Daniel Boulud, she chose a memoir as opposed to a more recipe-rich route: "I thought about writing a cookbook first. But the landscape is very crowded. I realize there are a number of questions I get asked, like, 'How do you become a food judge?' I kind of wanted to tell my story."

And Gail takes that role of judge very seriously, telling AdWeek, "People's biggest misperception is that the producers predict things, and we make quick decisions and that we aren't fair. In reality, we take many, many hours. And we take it very seriously. We do not judge people cumulatively on what they do. Everything has to stand on its own. You don't get second chances in the real world. People also think you can be very harsh. You can't see everything we say."

Gail shouts out Padma and dismisses rumors of a "rivalry," telling the mag, "No, I have amazing respect for Padma, and even more so now that I host a show. She has been incredibly supportive, and I realize now just how much work she does. The role of the host is a lot more complex than people think she is. I'm the Mary Ann to her Ginger, we like to say."

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