Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains her decision to have her bridal shower on TV.

on Dec 10, 2008

I just returned from my belated and much anticipated honeymoon and am so happy to be back in time for the airing of this very special episode. Thanks so much to those who sent good wishes to my blog while I was gone. I really enjoyed reading all your kind messages and am so appreciative of your enthusiastic encouragement!

At first I was a little reluctant at the thought of having my shower, a truly personal celebration, on national television. But after giving it some thought, and knowing my wedding would be completely private and focused on just my soon-to-be husband and me, I realized this would be a great way of documenting such an important event in my life. Besides, I knew my girlfriends would love it. They have all been incredibly supportive of the show and this was the perfect way to give some of them a taste of just how fun and exciting working on Top Chef can be! Once the party began, I was so glad I had agreed to do it. We shot the episode in early August, just weeks before my actual wedding, and despite the few culinary disappointments you witnessed, it was in fact a really poignant evening and one I will remember for years to come. As you can imagine, getting so many of my girlfriends together in one room is not something that happens very often. We ate, drank, and laughed for hours and had the most wonderful time. Although marriage is of course about two people sharing the rest of their lives together, this shower enforced for me the importance of having the rock-solid foundation of close friends and family in starting such an extraordinary new adventure. OK, enough of the sappy stuff...let's get to the food.

I have a feeling many viewers will complain that this episode's Judges' Table was extremely harsh and critical. In watching the final cuts, I have to agree. But as Tom mentioned, this was not just anyone's party. We were not serving strangers at an event we would otherwise not attend. The diners here were not only my closest friends, but many were colleagues, personal mentors, and bosses, several of whom not only have expert palates, but are people Tom, Padma, and I admire.