Back to Bio Summary

Gail Simmons

Judge, "Top Chef"

Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer and dynamic television personality. Since “Top Chef”’s inception in 2006, Gail has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on the Emmy-winning series, currently in its 15th season.  She also serves as a judge on Universal Kids’ “Top Chef Jr.” and was the head critic on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and host of “Top Chef Just Desserts.” She was also co-host of “The Feed,” which aired in 2014 on FYI.
Simmons first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, will be released by Grand Central Publishing in October 2017. It features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels—all made with accessible ingredients and with smart, simple techniques for successful family meals and easy entertaining.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Simmons moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants, and worked as the assistant to Vogue magazine’s esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten. Throughout her career, Gail has contributed to several cookbooks, including It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Steingarten, Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City and The New American Chef, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.

In addition to her work on Top Chef, Simmons makes frequent television appearances on NBC’s “TODAY,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and “Fox & Friends,” among others. She is regularly featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post. Along with her annual appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, she makes regular appearances at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals, including the Austin Food & Wine Festival and South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

In February 2013, Simmons was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson College, a mentoring role where she works with student entrepreneurs, helping them develop food-related social enterprises. In April 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.

Simmons currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and daughter, Dahlia Rae.