Gail Simmons

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons dishes on her 'Masters' experience.

on Jul 8, 2009

Were you nervous at all because half of John’s egg was raw?

I’m never really nervous about that I have to say. Eating a raw egg. People eat them all the time. It’s very rare, especially these days that you’ll ever get really sick from raw eggs. Athletes put them in drinks and very original protein shake. You eat steak tartare or people eat raw eggs in a lot of things. Marange is raw egg white. Of course you want to be careful and make sure they’re coming from quality places. It’s just not that appealing. You certainly don’t want to present that to your diners at a restaurant. That’s unacceptable, and it’s unfortunate that happened.

They each got a card for the elimination challenge that was related to magic. Are you a fan of magic?

I never thought that much about magic in my life. I certainly enjoy it. My brother loved it when we were kids and he used to have a magic set and do magic  tricks for us. That was 25 years ago. I didn’t know too much about magic before the show, but I learned a lot about magic on this episode. It was one of the most fun episodes I’ve ever filmed for all of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. It was in such a unique location. I’m not from L.A., but everyone there apparently knows something about The Magic Castle. I had no idea about it and I was totally blown away by its history and its secrets and mystery. It’s just an amazing place that has tricks around every corner. It was totally wild and fun to be there with real professional magicians. We had so much fun with them They showed us tricks, they gave us a tour, and really showed us about the foundations of magic and why each elements are important and combine to make a magic trick successful. I didn’t know that Neil Patrick Harris is a huge fan of Top Chef, and that his partner David had taken a break from acting to go to culinary school. The two of them were real foodies, knew a ton, and they were really into magic. Neil Patrick Harris has been a member of The Magic Castle for many years. He is a magician. He was into magic first. I don't want to get this wrong, but it was sort of his foray into Hollywood. He did a ton of magic and befriended Ed Alonzo.