by Steven Doyle
While avoiding real work today I noticed Gail Simmons from Top Chef was fielding questions on Food & Wine’s Facebook page. Any chance we get to edit Ms. Simmons and toss up her photo on Crave, it’s a good day.
What is your favorite moment from Top Chef?
Too many to count! I love all the great places we have had the opportunity to explore. I love learning from all the chefs and judges. But my favorite episodes are the ones that get the chefs out of the kitchen – the surf challenge in season 2, the dessert challenge in season 6. And look out for what we do on the show tonight! It is amazing!
What made you want to pursue a career in the food industry and how exactly did you begin?
I started by working for a broader magazine which taught me how to write, do research and fact checking. Then I went to professional culinary school to get the skills and language I needed to write about it. I spent time cooking in professional kitchens to solidify that skill. Then wrote and worked for great people. You have to pay your dues but the end result has been worth all the hard work!
What is your favorite dish to make?
Cooking at home for my friends and family is my favorite thing to do when I have the time. What I cook depends on the season. NYC has had a rough winter so I have been making a lot of stews, soups and hearty salads with kale, sweet potatoes, Parm.
Any tips for a 40-year old who’s contemplating starting a food blog?
Write, eat, write, eat, write, eat. And drink too!
I’ve noticed more responsible ingredients in the show (i.e. no more Chilean Sea Bass). Has there been a push on Top Chef to be promote such causes?
We always want to showcase ingredients that are responsible and sustainable. There is not a specific push, its is just how all of us think and cook ourselves.
Gail, It looks like you really have a great time with the judges from the outtakes I’ve seen. What is your most memorable judging moment?
Most memorable moment? Sitting at a table with Chef Joel Robuchon. What an honor! Also loved judging with Natalie Portman – she was so sweet and really passionate about food. It was great to see!
Vanilla or Chocolate?