Getting to Know Gail Simmons
IN MY FRIDGE, YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND: A big hunk of Parmesan, good-quality butter and a bottle of Champagne at the ready
VEGAS FOODIE MUSTS: Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Lotus of Siam and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
I SKIP DESSERT: Rarely. But I guess I don’t usually eat dessert at breakfast....
IF I COULD DINE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TONIGHT: I would go to Asador Etxebarri, in the mountains of Spain’s Basque Country. Chef Victor Arguinzoniz cooks everything over an open fire—including caviar! The food is exceptional, and it’s a totally primal experience.
TOP CHEF: JUST DESSERTS: As much as it has the same format as the original Top Chef, it looks and feels totally different. The sets are beautiful, the desserts are outrageous, and the contestants are over the top! It’s food TV with a serious sugar rush.
DESSERT THAT DEFINES MY STYLE: A classic pot de crème—either dark chocolate or espresso with hazelnuts and a little whipped cream on top. It’s luxurious and decadent, always holds up under pressure and never disappoints.
THREE WORDS THAT DEFINE THE CURRENT LAS VEGAS DINING SCENE: Surprising, evolving and diverse
AN EASY AT-HOME DESSERT ANYONE CAN MASTER: A great fruit crumble using the ripest fruit in season in a buttered dish. Make a topping with brown sugar, oats, nuts and butter. Sprinkle it on top and bake until it bubbles.
DESIGNERS I SPLURGE ON: For shoes, Fendi, Christian Louboutin and Giuseppe Zanotti Design. For clothes, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen and Jason Wu.
DESTINATIONS I’M DYING TO VISIT: A million, but on the top of my list are Buenos Aires and Istanbul.
SECRETS TO STAYING FIT AS A FOODIE: I’ve learned to taste instead of finishing the whole plate, which is not easy, especially with desserts. I’m a very active person. I run three times a week and do as many sit-ups, push-ups and tricep dips as humanly possible, as often as I can. I love the outdoors, so I also hike, bike and walk.
BEAUTY TIP FOR THE DAY AFTER A FOODIE BINGE: Sleep, water and a nice long run. In that order.
FAVORITE SHOW IN LAS VEGAS: When we shot Top Chef 7 in Vegas, my husband and I went to see The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage. The music was incredible, and the show was absolutely beautiful.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SCOTT SCHAFFER/BRAVO