/// Juggling a Full Plate

November 9, 2011  |  Media Week

Gail Simmons seems to have done it all. Born in Toronto, she attended culinary school, trained at Le Cirque 2000, and worked for Daniel Boulud and food writer Jeffrey Steingarten before joining Food & Wine and becoming a judge on Bravo's Top Chef and the host of its spinoff Top Chef: Just Desserts. In her forthcoming memoir Talking With My Mouth Full, due out in early 2012, she dishes about her career and the people she's met along the way. The new season of Top Chef premiered last week. Adweek: Why did you decide to write a memoir at the ripe old age of 35? I was feeling a lot of energy around writing a book. I thought about writing a cookbook first. But the landscape is very crowded. I realize there are a number of questions I get asked, like, “How do you become a food judge?” I kind of wanted to tell my story. You're unusual in that you straddle magazines and television. What advice do you have for magazines as they try to translate their brands into video? Food & Wine had always thought, “How can we be on television and bring the brand to a broader audience?” Bravo came to them. [Current publisher] Chris Grdovic had the foresight to say, “This could work.” It's aligning yourself with good quality partners that have the same goals as you, knowing your audience, and knowing your mission. What's most misunderstood about the show? People's biggest misperception is that the producers predict things, and we make quick decisions and that we aren't fair. In reality, we take many, many hours. And we take it very seriously.

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Juggling a Full Plate

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