Gail Simmons

Gail extols the virtues of fried chicken skin and shares just how giddy everyone was to work with Ad-Rock.

on Sep 29, 2011 Is there anything else you want to say about the Quickfire?
GS: Both Sally and Matt’s dishes were great, but Sally’s texture was better. She really thought about the play between texture and temperature and ingredients. Although it was a mango pudding, it wasn’t too sweet, and she did this great brittle on top -- all the flavors worked really well together. It didn’t feel like she was stretching at all. It felt like a very organic dish, which was the point of what we wanted them to do with Jordan there, to prove that you can use traditionally savory ingredients in delicious desserts. Alright onto the Elimination Challenge, what was it like having Adam in the kitchen with you guys?
GS: More than for any other guest judge or celebrity or chef that we’ve ever had on the show, we were all giddy the couple days leading up to the episode knowing Adam was coming. Even more so than when we’ve had movie stars or other great musicians on the show. I guess because we felt that the Beastie Boys music, which was the inspiration for the challenge, and Ad-Rock himself just wanted to have a really good time, and it was all about just having fun and being silly. The Beastie Boys have been making outstanding, trail-blazing music for over 25 years. They’ve really changed the face of hip-hop and rap. But, in a way, they’ve always done it with a wink and a laugh, and you can hear it in their lyrics. You just know you’re going to have a good time when they’re around. And we did.

He told us that when he, MCA and Mike D are recording an album, they sit around and talk about food all the time, which is why there are so many lyrics about food in their songs. They’re all really into food. They all you love eating, love going out. They’ve travelled all over the world touring for the last 25 years, and he is a fan of Top Chef and of good food in general. It felt like that day someone just turned our kitchen upside down. Between the Quickfire challenge with Jordan and then AdRock, we really challenge and shook up our chefs. But I do think they had a lot of fun with it, even though this was the most ridiculous challenge we’ve ever done. Adam was game to do everything. He was just having such a good time. When you saw the ingredients were you guys nervous about actually eating them?
We were. I wish we could've shown our viewers the pantry more closely. Our production teammade the most amazing Beastie Boys display. They included over 100 different items of food originally mentioned in Beastie Boys songs, and it was just extraordinary. But we had no idea if the chefs were going to be able to pull off what we were asking of them. Of course, some of them did and some of them didn’t.