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The Daily Dish Top Chef

5 Things You Didn't Know About Gail Simmons

The #TopChef judge has lived quite the delicious life.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Gail's Culinary Adventure: The Gin Joint

We've welcomed Gail Simmons into our living rooms for more than a decade as one of the judges of Top Chef. So by now, Gail really just feels like family. 

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Watch Top Chef on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

Though we've definitely seen Gail prove her culinary prowess on Top Chef over the years, we haven't really gotten to know much about her life before the culinary competition. Lucky for you, we've given you a little taste of it below. Prepare to be wowed even more by Gail's expertise.

1. She's Originally from Canada

#TBT I too was a summer baby who loved an inflatable pool....#thisismenotbabyd

A photo posted by Gail Simmons (@gailsimmonseats) on

As a judge on Top Chef, Gail has received quite the excellent tour of the United States (and the world). However, Gail originally called Canada home as a native of Toronto. These days, Gail lives in New York with her husband, Jeremy Abrams, and daughter, Dahlia Rae, but she still can't say no to eating a big handful of Canadian Smarties, she told Grub Street. 

2. Her Parents Were Big Foodies

Me and dad. Killing the early morning charity 5K. #fwclassic #fwfesties @wholesomewave @foodandwine

A photo posted by Gail Simmons (@gailsimmonseats) on

Gail was basically born to be in the food biz. Her mom ran a cooking school and wrote about food for Canada's Globe and Mail. Her dad made his own wine. Clearly, Gail was destined for culinary greatness.

3. She Wasn't Always the Best Cook...

Gail told Spoon University that she didn't really know how to prepare proper meals until she got her own apartment while attending McGill University in Montreal. Before then, it was all chocolate milk and mac and cheese prepared in a dorm room crockpot. She also cooked what she called "disgusting late night food," such as potato gratin and broccoli and cheese, as well as ordering a ton of takeout. But there ain't no shame in your game, Gail. We have a feeling lots of people who've been out of college for years continue to "cook" like that.  

4. ...But She Became a Professionally Trained Chef

Gail knows what makes a great dish, because she attended culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education in New York after graduating college. She also trained in the kitchens of Le Cirque 2000 and Vong. These days, Gail still spills all of her culinary secrets through recipes you can find over on Food & Wine's website, as well as many other places around the web.

5. She Has a Major Role at Food & Wine Magazine

Speaking of Food & Wine, we've certainly heard a lot about this prestigious publication on Top Chef thanks to Gail and because one of the grand prizes for the culinary competition is a feature in Food & Wine and a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. But how did Gail end up at the magazine in the first place? 

Well, after serving as legendary Vogue food critic Jeffrey Steingarten's assistant and working as the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, Gail joined Food & Wine in 2004. She directs special projects, works with culinary talent, and is a liaison between the marketing and editorial teams. She also oversees the Food & Wine Classic, and if the above photo is any indication, she always does an impeccable job. 

Check out more of Gail's work and other foodie awesomeness by subscribing to Food & Wine now.

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