Talking with My Mouth Full by Gail Simmons
My Life as a Professional Eater

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Synopsis

When Top Chef judge Gail Simmons first graduated from college, she felt hopelessly lost. All her friends were going to graduate school, business school, law school . . . but what was she going to do? Fortunately, a family friend gave her some invaluable advice-make a list of what you love to do, and let that be your guide. Gail wrote down four words:

Eat. Write. Travel. Cook.

Little did she know, those four words would become the basis for a career as a professional eater, cook, food critic, magazine editor, and television star. Today, she's the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, permanent judge on Top Chef, and Special Projects Director at Food & Wine magazine. She travels all over the world, eats extraordinary food, and meets fascinating people. She's living the dream that so many of us who love to cook and eat can only imagine. But how did she get there?

Talking with My Mouth Full follows her unusual and inspiring path to success, step-by-step and bite-by-bite. It takes the reader from her early years, growing up in a household where her mother ran a small cooking school, her father made his own wine, and family vacation destinations included Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East; through her adventures at culinary school in New York City and training as an apprentice in two of New York's most acclaimed kitchens; and on to her time spent assisting Vogue's legendary food critic Jeffrey Steingarten, working for renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and ultimately landing her current jobs at Food & Wine and on Top Chef. The book is a tribute to the incredible meals and mentors she's had along the way, examining the somewhat unconventional but always satisfying journey she has taken in order to create a career that didn't even exist when she first started working toward it.

With memorable stories about the greatest (and worst) dishes she's eaten, childhood and behind-the-scenes photos, and recipes from Gail's family and her own kitchen, Talking with My Mouth Full is a true treat.
 

About Gail Simmons

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Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and television personality. She is the Special Projects Director at Food & Wine magazine, and has been a permanent judge on Bravo's Emmy-winning series Top Chef, the number one food show on cable television, since the show's inception in 2006. Gail is also the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo's pastry-focused spin-off. Born in Toronto, she now lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy.
 
Published February 21, 2012 by Hachette Books. 289 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Cooking. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Talking with My Mouth Full

Kirkus Reviews

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Simmons describes the shows in terms that are specific about the complexities and stress of their production, but not hugely revelatory otherwise—e.g., “On Top Chef, we typically only see chefs on their best behavior.” Although each chapter opens with an evocative description of food or a meal, h...

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Talking with My Mouth Full: M...

Publishers Weekly

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Moving on, she landed a job as assistant to Vogue’s food editor, a glamorous and messy position: “To this day, I’m sure I’m the only person ever to attend a Vogue meeting with Anna Wintour with goose fat running down my Old Navy T-shirt and onto my Levi’s.” Simmons reveals the complex...

Jan 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Talking with My Mouth Full: M...

New York Journal of Books

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“The joy of Ms. Simmons’ book is in its passionate love of food, a love that transcended everything that got in its way, like a pole-vaulter leaping over the bar. . . . The other great joy in Talking with My Mouth Full lies in the writing itself. For those who know Ms. Simmons only from her telev...

Feb 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Talking with My Mouth Full: M...

Huffington Post

As the TV & Film Department Editor at The Donnybrook Writing Academy, I've covered the Simmons-judged food competition series Top Chef for the past few years now, so cracking her book open and giving it a read seemed like a logical choice for my first foray into Book Reviewing, especially given t...

Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Talking with My Mouth Full: M...

Austin Chronicle

That said, the audience for this memoir is probably quite narrow, limited to Top Chef fans, or Food & Wine magazine fans, or food writers looking for a role model.

Jun 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Talking with My Mouth Full: M...

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