Gail Simmons' seemingly effortless, simple-but-glamorous style combined with her culinary know-how has endeared her to fans of Top Chef since she started as a judge on the show in 2006. When she married her now-husband two years after that, she told People, she wasn't sure she wanted to have a family. All that eventually changed, and this May, she gave birth to her second child, Kole. In the article, she discusses her relationship with the other judges on the show, what she hates to talk about at the dinner table (hint: it's not politics), and spills on the best gift she got after she gave birth (yes, it's edible).
She credits her growing family with helping her stay focused, even as her career keeps going crazy — her 12th year of Top Chef continues with a new season in December and her first cookbook came out last year. But she also credits her second family — the other judges on the show, likening Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi to her siblings. "We've been through so much together. We've all had children, there have been marriages, divorces, deaths, and illnesses. But no matter what, we sit at that table and we have a real conversation about food because that's what bonds us all."
Both her fellow judges have been very outspoken politically, and Gail acknowledges that while some people say not to talk about politics at the dinner table, the only taboo topics for her are diets and workouts. "I don't want to hear about it," she says, though she admits to being more careful about what she's eating when she's at her home kitchen in Brooklyn.
But, like any new mom, after Kole was born, she depended on the kindness of her friends to keep her fed through the chaos of the early weeks. So, what do you bring one of the culinary world's highest critics to keep her happy? Apparently, a turkey sandwich with lettuce and mustard on whole-wheat bread, which she calls, "The best gift I was given after childbirth."