Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater

Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater

3.6 12
by Gail Simmons
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Bravo TV fans know Gail Simmons best as the lively taste judge on the Emmy-winning winning Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts, but as this appetizing memoir demonstrates, she wasn't always a well-paid professional eater. Talking with My Mouth Full traces her career from a young Toronto cook and food writer to her kitchen apprenticeship in the New York kitchens of the prestigious Cirque 2000 and Vong restaurants. The memoir doesn't stop there: It offers telling glimpses into the world of Chef Daniel Boulud and the inner workings of Food & Wine magazine. A nutritious mouthful indeed.

Edward Ash-Milby

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401324506
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
600,899
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

David Chang
Gail's book impressively mixes memoir with recent culinary history, and has great recipes, too. Above all, she makes it abundantly clear that passion for food—and hard work—always wins out. (David Chang, Chef/Owner, Momofuku)
Giada De Laurentiis
Reading Gail Simmons's memoir was like having a cappuccino and biscotti with one of my close girlfriends. What a treat! (Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada at Home)
Eric Ripert
Gail Simmons is fearless, passionate, and driven, yet she is humble, generous, and stays true to the good values that she embraces. This book is inspiring for anyone who dreams about living their passion and finding fulfillment in their work. Talking with My Mouth Full is a joyful, account of Gail's journey from her start as a line cook to her work at Food & Wine magazine and of course her role on Top Chef. (Eric Ripert, Executive Chef/Co- Owner, Le Bernardin)
Jacques Pepin
In Talking with My Mouth Full, Gail Simmons takes us through her culinary voyage from her gentle upbringing in a food- obsessed family in Toronto to her present culinary star status. In a clear, firm, and concise style, she leads us through her journey from an apprentice and trainee at culinary school to Le Cirque to Vogue and Food & Wine magazine and, ultimately, to her leading role on food television. Her remembrances are a tasty, delightful treat to savor. (Jacques Pépin, author of Essential Pépin)

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Meet the Author

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.

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Talking with My Mouth Full 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a delectable read! From Toronto to South Africa, NYC to Montreal, Gail takes us all on her delicious and tender journey of self discovery. It's a lovely read about finding yourself and what you love to do. I loved every bit of this book--It's well written, engaging, thoughtful., funny and sensitive. Not just for Top Chef fans but anyone looking for a really great read about a smart, young woman's journey to be the one of the most well respected food personalities today.
VanessVC More than 1 year ago
A lot of people wonder "Who is Gail Simmons" & "How did she get to where she is today"? Our questions are answered in a fun and anecdotal tale of Gail's life's journey, from growing up in Toronto to her fateful accomplishments in the New York food world. I loved reading this book cover-to-cover. I have such an appreciation for Gail, her passion for food and her commitment to being true to who she is and where she comes from. Great job and can't wait to tell my friends and family about this must read book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
‘Talking With My Mouth Full’ is not only a wonderful story of Gail’s life thus far, but also an ever-important reminder that hard work and determination are two necessary ingredients on the path to a rewarding and successful career. From the outside, Gail’s success on ‘Top Chef’ may appear to be nothing but luck – prompting many individuals to assume they too can achieve such success overnight. But her story reveals her path to reality television had to do much more to do with years of work, long nights, and, perhaps most importantly, trusting the doors that open along the way. This book is an enjoyable, light read with a powerful underlying message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who subscribes to Food and Wine Magazine and enjoys watching Top Chef, I was looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, it reads like a marketing fluff piece. If the author was interviewing with you for a job, this might be the addendum to her resume. There is no meat in this book, like many other chef/foodie memoirs. It never goes below the surface of how much Gail Simmons enjoys her career and the people she works with. While I applaud her possitive attitude that is evident in the book, there is not much story here.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, if we use culinary parlance about books, I'd say that another author's book, MY BELOVED WORLD, needed to braise a tad longer, while Simmons' tome is ready-to-be-devoured, tasty ad fun. Actually, I wish this book were longer, because it was a delight to skip through. Simmons has a clear yet amusing way of relating her experiences, and after this I realized that I should have gone into the culinary arts as a career. I loved her regaling us about Peter Kump's culinary teachings: I remember that era well - I was a wife and mother and every time I read his ads I wanted to go to his school so badly, although I have joined the James Beard Foundation. Okay - this book is a great amuse-bouche: I hope Simmons serves up another!
huckfinn37 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book alot because I love Top Chef and Top Chef Desserts. I enjoyed learning about how Gail's food journey began. The book is delightful for foodies. I highly recommend this book.
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