Our friend Gail Simmons is kind of a big deal. Culinary expert, food writer and TV personality (any Top Chef fans in the house?), Gail somehow balances it all while remaining one of the most down-to-earth, smart and generally lovely people we know.
You can imagine we were pretty thrilled when she decided to host a FEED Supper this year with her fellow foodie, Eden Grinshpan. In true Gail fashion, the Supper was perfect in every way, from the food (she worked with Chef Baldwin of Houseman to create the menu) to the decor (Supper Toolkit, obviously) to the company (Jennifer Fischer and Lindsey Shookus were among the guests). Naturally, we left wanting more Gail time.
So we decided to invite her over for our inaugural Table Talk post, the first in a series of candid conversations with our favorite influencers. We’re really excited to share this one, so without further ado, pull up a chair and read on.
Illustrations: Jen Collins for FEED
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
My 20-month-old daughter is my alarm clock. The first thing I do every morning is hear her call for me and go to her room to get her. That first hour of the day is sacred – spent reading, making breakfast, cuddling together – before the outside world calls.
If you could have anything for breakfast on a Sunday morning, what would it be?
A breakfast sandwich, piled high with eggs fried in butter and sprinkled with salt, melted sharp cheddar cheese, juicy ripe tomatoes, avocado, pickles, hot sauce, mustard…maybe a slice or two of bacon. I always crave a breakfast sandwich.
What are you currently reading?
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. It’s the first book I have had the opportunity to read in the year and half since becoming a mother. It’s not light, but it’s immersive and beautiful.
Your greatest hope for the world?
That’s a weighty one: That no one ever goes to bed hungry.
Finish this sentence: Food has the power to…
…heal anything – from illness and disease, to malice and alienation, to a broken heart.
My favorite cookbook changes constantly because there are so many great books coming out all the time. Right now I’m obsessed with The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson for his great use of seasonal vegetables. And I am beyond excited to get my hands on Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov when it comes out this fall. I was lucky enough to see a draft and was basically drooling on the pages.
What motto do you live by?
Don’t judge it ‘til you’ve tried it! So try everything.
What is the best advice your parents gave you?
To give your loved ones roots to feel grounded, and wings so they can fly!
If you could travel anywhere in the world for a meal, where would you go and what would you eat?
I would go to Patagonia to cook with Chef Frances Mallmann. I would eat anything and everything he cooked on open fire.
When you were six, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a zoologist. And I still do.
Thanks for joining us today, Gail!
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