Gail Simmons wrote her book, Talking With My Mouth Full, to answer the twenty or so questions she’s repeatedly asked. So of course, when offered the chance, we had to try and ask the Top Chef judge something new: when was the first time she took a bite of something and thought, “Woah, there’s something to this food thing?”
Simmons says it’s a new question, but turns the answer into something classic: her first food memory. “I was very, very little—it was the first time I ever cooked on my own, with my mother’s supervision—and I made scrambled eggs. I felt so accomplished, like magic! You start with something inedible and you put it on the stove top and all of a sudden it turns into something delicious, but I put raisins and cinnamon in them and made my parents eat them; they were disgusting.”
Turns out her love of eggs hasn’t faded, even though Simmons has probably tasted some of the best food in the world. Her ideal meal still centers around the breakfast food, though she revises its accessories over the course of our interview. By the end, she’s dreaming of “a BLT, but with a poached or fried egg for good measure and some avocado. OK, it’s hearty grain toast with lettuce, tomato, avocado, crispy bacon and a fried egg with some hot sauce on top.”
As for the book itself, Simmons recruited a few of her famous friends to make a video trailer in honor of its release (tomorrow, February 21). “It’s just another sort of digital, viral way to get people to know about the book, because people spend a lot more time in front of their computers,” she explained. Bravo’s Andy Cohen and Andrew Carmellini, executive chef at the Dutch, ask Simmons a few of those oft-asked questions in the clip above. And since her mouth is full, well, Simmons happily directs them to the book.