2019 CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Now in its 16th successful season, Top Chef is rated the #1 food show on cable television. Gail also hosts Iron Chef Canada, the #1 show on Food Network Canada. She was head critic on Top Chef Masters, host of Top Chef Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spinoff of the Top Chef franchise, and co-host of The Feed, which aired in 2014 on FYI.
Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released by Grand Central Publishing in October 2017. Nominated for an IACP award for Best General Cookbook, it features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels—all made with accessible ingredients and with smart, simple techniques for successful family meals and easy entertaining. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.
Gail joined Food & Wine magazine in 2004, where she directs special projects, writing a monthly column and working closely with the country’s top culinary talent on events and chef-related initiatives. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing the annual Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to working at Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants, and worked as the assistant to Vogue magazine’s esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten. Throughout her career, Gail has contributed to several books, including It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Steingarten, Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City and The New American Chef, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page.
In 2014, Gail and her business partner Samantha Hanks, founded Bumble Pie Productions, an original content company dedicated to discovering and promoting new female voices in the food and lifestyle space. Their first series, “Star Plates”—a collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment—premiered in Fall 2016 on the Food Network.
In addition, Gail makes frequent television appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Rachel Ray Show, among others. She has been featured in publications such as People, New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post. Along with her annual appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, she makes regular appearances at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals, including the Austin Food & Wine Festival and Charleston Wine & Food Festival.
In February 2013, Gail was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson College, a mentoring role where she works with student entrepreneurs, helping them develop food-related social enterprises. In April 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.
Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and their two children, Dahlia and Kole.
MICHAEL ANTHONY is Executive Chef and Partner of Gramercy Tavern. Mike grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Indiana University. He moved to France in 1992 and spent five years training and working in several renowned kitchens. When he returned to the U.S., he joined the team at Restaurant Daniel, then became Chef de Cuisine at March Restaurant before moving on to ultimate become Executive Chef at Blue Hill Stone Barns.
In September 2006 Mike took the position of Executive Chef at Gramercy Tavern. In this role he leads the restaurant into its next chapter while staying true to its original vision: to honor the rich tradition of American cooking and bring guests together in a convivial spirit of community to enjoy exceptional, seasonal food. Passionate about using ingredients that can be traced to their sources, Mike forges strong ties between the restaurant and local farmers.
Mike was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2002 and was also lauded in Bon Appetit’s “Next Generation” in 2003. In 2008, Gramercy Tavern earned the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant. In 2012, Michael won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in New York City” and in 2015, he won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef,” a national recognition. In 2016, Michael’s V is for Vegetables won the James Beard Award for “Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian” cookbooks.
Shelley is partner, creative director, and executive chef at Fresh Company, which runs the food service at Storm King Art Center and the Garrison Institute, as well as off-premise catering for private and corporate clients. This year Fresh Company will open Dolly’s, an all day café and pub in Garrison, NY.
A board member of Cold Spring’s Farmers’ Market, Shelley has long worked to support agriculture in the Hudson Valley. She has written for publications such as The New York Times and Food & Wine, and has participated in panels at Pace University and the New York Public Library. Shelley curates an annual Earth Day meal open to the public at the Garrison Institute with speakers sharing insights into environmental issues.
Shelley’s cookbook Fresh Cooking: A Year of Recipes from The Garrison Institute Kitchen (Monkfish Book Publishing) was published in 2014. Visit Fresh Company’s website: freshcompany.net.