Oh, goodness me, do I love Gail Simmons. The crush began over a decade ago, when she came on my radar as the kind, clear, and knowledgeable judge on Bravo’s Top Chef at its inception thirteen seasons ago. She has remained a stalwart fixture on the show, showcasing that perfect combo of class and moxie that is likely a testament to her illustrious resumé: special events managers for Chef Daniel Boulud‘s restaurant empire, her tenure at Food & Wine, training at Le Cirque, working in tandem with legendary food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten, overseeing the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and and and and and….

She has done it all – and continues to balance such a full plate, while also being a wife and mama to her baby girl. Our mutual friend, Annaliese, introduced us, and while I was tickled pink to finally connect with Gail, it was her answer to question number 4 that made me realize we are cut from the same cloth. Not sure what I mean? Read below and then flashback to this story on The Tig where I write about one of my happy places. Two peas in a (very irie) pod. Thanks Gail (and thanks Annaliese for the intro)! Make sure you tune in to season 13 of Top Chef this fall on Bravo, where they are traveling through my home state of California. Cheers to Golden State goodness!

My nickname is: G or Snip. They're my childhood nicknames that old friends and all my family still call me.

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Go get my baby girl Dahlia Rae (18 months), change her and make her breakfast. She's my human alarm clock.

I can't live without: Morning coffee, Uber, and baby wipes.

If I had one week to escape: I'd sit on a lounge chair at The Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica and stare out at the sea in silence. Drinking a Dark & Stormy.

If I only had $10 in my pocket: I'd buy a Heebster sandwich at Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side.

Everything tastes better with a little: Egg on it. As cliche as that may be. Or a drop of fish sauce...

 

Images via: Bravo, Instagram