Gail Simmons

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Gail Simmons
Simmons at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Born (1976-05-19) May 19, 1976 (age 47)[1]
Alma materMcGill University
Occupation(s)Culinary expert, food writer, television personality
SpouseJeremy Abrams (2008-present)

Gail Simmons (born May 19, 1976)[1] is a Canadian food writer and cookbook author. She has served as a permanent judge on Bravo's Emmy-winning series Top Chef since the show's inception in 2006. Simmons was previously the head critic on Top Chef Duels and host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo's pastry-focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise. She was also the co-host of The Feed, which aired in 2014 on FYI, A+E's new lifestyle network. In addition to her work on Top Chef, Gail makes frequent television appearances on NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America, among others. She has been featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, Los Angeles Times, and more.

Early life[edit]

Simmons was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to a Jewish family of Eastern European origin,[2][3] and graduated from McGill University in Montreal, where she majored in anthropology and Spanish.[4] She is the daughter of Renee and Ivor Simmons and the youngest of three siblings. Her mother, Renee, was formerly a food columnist for Globe and Mail and conducted cooking classes in their home.[2]


Early career[edit]

She began her food journalism career writing restaurant reviews for the McGill Tribune[4] before becoming an intern at the monthly magazine Toronto Life and later wrote for the daily National Post newspaper.[5]

Simmons attended the Peter Kump New York Cooking School[5] in New York City and apprenticed at Le Cirque and Vong.[6][7][8]

Simmons worked for food critic Jeffrey Steingarten as his assistant for two years at Vogue[5] before becoming the special events manager for chef Daniel Boulud's restaurant empire for three years.[5]

In 2004, she joined Food & Wine as special projects manager.[5]

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.[8]


Gail's first book, her memoir Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.[9]

Video series[edit]

She teaches viewers new ways to cook with familiar and unusual staples in their kitchens in the online video series titled The Pantry Project.[8]

Other media[edit]

Her bio reports: "Gail makes frequent television appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, among others."[8]


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.[8]

Community service and board memberships[edit]

Gail actively supports 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.


She was selected for the 2010 Forward 50 by The Jewish Daily Forward.[10]

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?][8]

Personal life[edit]

Simmons married Jeremy Abrams in 2008.[2][dead link] Their wedding featured a farmers' 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][dead link] She said in 2012 she "put a big chunk of savings into his business," Audiostiles[11] which creates background music programming for the hospitality industry.[12] She gave birth to their daughter Dahlia Rae on 29 December 2013. Simmons gave birth to their second child, a son named Kole Jack, on May 23, 2018.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
2006–present Top Chef Herself
2007 At the Table with... Herself Episodes: "Rob Feenie" and "Daniel Boulud"
2009-2013 Top Chef Masters Herself Judge
2010 Avec Eric Herself Episodes: "Catch and Cook" and "Cayman Cookout"
2010-2011 Top Chef: Just Desserts Herself Host
2011 Through the Grapevine Herself Episode: "Checking Out Chiantis from Tuscany"
Top Chef Canada Herself Guest judge
Season 1 episode 12: "Chef McEwan's Favourite Things"
2011-2018 The Best Thing I Ever Ate Herself 9 episodes
2012 My Last Supper Herself
2013 Royal Pains Herself Season 5 episode 6: "Can of Worms"
2014 Recipe to Riches Herself Judge
Season 3 episode 5: "Savory Snacks"
Top Chef Duels Herself Judge
2015-2016 Guilty Pleasures Herself Season 2 episodes 5 and 10: "Holy Moly Burgers" and "Coast to Coast Indulgences"
2017 Beat Bobby Flay Herself Judge
Season 12 episode 6: "Open Grill Season"
Cooks vs. Cons Herself Judge
Season 4 episode 12 and season 5 episode 5: "Taco Tug-O-War" and "The Whole Enchilada"
2017-2018 Top Chef Junior Herself Judge
2018–present Iron Chef Canada Herself Host
2021–present Top Chef Amateurs Herself Host
2021–present The Good Dish Herself Co-host
2022 Top Chef Canada Herself Guest judge
Season 10 episode 3: "Restaurant Wars"

Published works[edit]

  • Simmons, Gail (2011). Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. Hyperion. ISBN 978-1401324506.
  • Simmons, Gail (2017). Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating. Grand Central Life & Style. ISBN 978-1455542208.


  1. ^ a b "Gail Simmons - Chef, Television Personality -". A&E Networks. Archived from the original on July 12, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gail Simmons". Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  3. ^ "'Top Chef' judge Gail Simmons serving up 'Just Desserts'". 31 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Confessions of a picky eater : McGill News". Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "One On One With Gail Simmons - Part 1". 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  7. ^ "One On One With Gail Simmons - Part 2". 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Bio: Gail Simmons". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  9. ^ Simmons, Gail. (18 August 2014). Talking with my mouth full : my life as a professional eater (First ed.). New York. ISBN 9780316331012. OCLC 881627923.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  10. ^ "Forward 50 –". Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  11. ^ Fusaro, Kim (February 22, 2012). "A Proposal Story: This Glamourous [sic] Girl Got a Low-Key Proposal—And Loved It! (Plus, the Book You Must Put On the Top of Your Reading List!)". Glamour.
  12. ^ Karol, Gabrielle (August 29, 2012). "10 Things You Don't Know About My Finances: Gail Simmons".
  13. ^ "Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons Welcomes Son: 'He's a Keeper!'".

External links[edit]