Gail Simmons

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Gail Simmons
Born May 19, 1976
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater McGill University
Occupation Culinary expert, food writer, television personality
Spouse(s) Jeremy Abrams (2008-present)

Gail Simmons (born May 19, 1976) is a Canadian trained culinary expert, food writer and television personality, and is the Special Projects Director with Food & Wine magazine. In addition to her role with Food & Wine, she is a regular judge on the television show Top Chef and hosts its spin-off, Top Chef: Just Desserts.

She offers advice for anyone who's new to the food world and wants to break into the culinary limelight: you should "love what you’re doing and you’ll manage to do it - no matter how hard it is".[1]

The good taste necessary to be a food critic is not just something she was born with, but, as she explains, it is a natural balance that can easily be found through understanding flavor and a passion to learn.[1]

Early life[edit]

Simmons was born May 19, 1976 in Toronto,[2] and graduated from McGill University in Montreal, where she majored in anthropology and Spanish.[3] She is the youngest of three siblings in a Jewish family, which includes her mother Renee, formerly a food columnist for Globe and Mail who conducted cooking classes in their home, and her father, Ivor.[2]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

She began her food-journalism career writing restaurant reviews for the McGill Tribune[3] before becoming an intern at monthly magazine Toronto Life and later wrote for the daily National Post newspaper.[4]

Simmons attended the The Peter Kump New York Cooking School[4] in New York City and apprenticed at Le Cirque and Vong.[5][6][7]

Simmons worked for food critic Jeffrey Steingarten as his assistant for two years at Vogue[4] before becoming the special events manager for chef Daniel Boulud's restaurant empire for three years.[4]

In 2004, she joined Food & Wine as special projects manager.[4]

Top Chef franchise[edit]

Simmons has been a judge with Top Chef since its March 8, 2006 season one premiere; she also hosted the spinoff show, Top Chef: Just Desserts, which premiered on September 15, 2010, after the seventh season finale of Top Chef.[7]

Publications[edit]

Gail’s first book, her memoir Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.[citation needed]

Video series[edit]

She teaches viewers new ways to cook with familiar and unusual staples, in their kitchens, in the KitchenDaily.com online video series titledThe Pantry Project.[7]

Other media[edit]

Her Bravo.com bio reports: "Gail makes frequent television appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, among others."[7]

Appearances[edit]

She has made appearances at prominent culinary festivals; examples in the U.S. include the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, New York City Wine & Food Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Kohler Food & Wine Experience and the Cayman Cookout.[7]

Community service and board memberships[edit]

Gail is an active supporter of Common Threads, an organization that teaches low-income children to cook wholesome, affordable meals. She was a founding member of Food & Wine’s Grow for Good Campaign to raise funds and awareness for sustainable agriculture programs in the United States. She sits on the boards of the American Institute of Wine & Food, Hot Bread Kitchen, the Institute of Culinary Education’s Alumni Committee, the Women at NBCU Advisory Board, and the food rescue organization City Harvest.

Recognition[edit]

She was selected for the 2010 Forward 50 by The Jewish Daily Forward.[8]

She has been featured in such media outlets as New York Magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, and Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post[when?].[7]

Personal life[edit]

Simmons married Jeremy Abrams in 2008.[2] Their wedding featured a farmer's market theme, and appeared in Martha Stewart's Real Weddings magazine. Simmons wore a Carolina Herrera wedding gown and her mother's veil from 42 years earlier.[2] She said in 2012 she "put a big chunk of savings into his business", Audiostiles[9] which creates background music programming for the hospitality industry.[10]

Published works[edit]

  • Simmons, Gail (2011). Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. Hyperion. ISBN 1401324509. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gail Simmons:'Working - and talking - with my mouth full'". finedininglovers.com. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Gail Simmons". People.com. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b about 19 hours ago. "Confessions of a picky eater : McGill News". Publications.mcgill.ca. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Gernstetter, Blake (November 17, 2010). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, GAIL SIMMONS, HOST OF TOP CHEF: JUST DESSERTS?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ "One On One With Gail Simmons - Part 1". Yumsugar.com. 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  6. ^ "One On One With Gail Simmons - Part 2". Yumsugar.com. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Bio: Gail Simmons". Bravo.com. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Forward 50 –". Forward.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  9. ^ Fusaro, Kim (February 22, 2012). "A Proposal Story: This Glamourous Girl Got a Low-Key Proposal—And Loved It! (Plus, the Book You MUST Put On the Top of Your Reading List!)". Glamour. 
  10. ^ Karol, Gabrielle (August 29, 2012). "10 Things You Don’t Know About My Finances: Gail Simmons". Learnvest.com. 

External links[edit]