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  • And what's our plan for pacing?

  • I'm just curious.

  • Because I truly- I do think we need to

  • pace tonight.

  • That's true.

  • Because usually when we go out,

  • it's basically a lot of drinking.

  • No eating.

  • Right. And then

  • eventually we eat.

  • That's kind of similar to what's going to

  • happen tonight.

  • I mean holy shit.

  • You think I've done that before.

  • I did not think that was going to be a whole

  • fucking bottle.

  • I'm Gail Simmons, special projects director at

  • Food Lion magazine, judge on Bravo's Top Chef.

  • It was a long road to get here and

  • it actually started 20 years ago discovering

  • that I wanted to work in the food industry.

  • I moved to New York and I went to culinary school

  • and when I felt like I had gotten some good

  • experience I left the kitchen and

  • went to work for Jeffrey Steingarten,

  • who is the food critic at Vogue magazine.

  • It was through Jeffrey that I came to know so

  • many of the most talented chefs and

  • food people around the country,

  • because he worked with them on so

  • many different projects.

  • And one of the people I

  • came to know was Daniel Boulud.

  • So Danielle only had three restaurants at

  • the time, but was opening many

  • more around the country, writing books,

  • had tons of events, and his marketing director

  • needed some help, so he offered me the job.

  • It wasn't the job I anticipated taking,

  • because I thought I was just gonna go be

  • a food writer.

  • When Daniel Boulud offers you a job,

  • you take the job.

  • >From working at Danielle for three years,

  • I went to go work at Food and Wine Magazine.

  • And about a year into the job,

  • Bravo came to Food and Wine to ask them

  • if they'd help partner on a food show and Food and

  • Wine sent me on a screen test.

  • To see if this was something we

  • could all do together, and Bravo chose me.

  • Three weeks later, I was shooting Top Chef, and

  • I guess the rest is history.

  • I think one of the most rewarding things about

  • Top Chef, is that after 13 seasons, we can

  • quantify how successful the winners have been,

  • and several of the other contestants, too.

  • There were something like over 100 restaurants that

  • have opened in America, since we started the show

  • that are from contestants and you still can't deny

  • how much of an impact this show and

  • it's chefs have had on our industry.

  • I met two of my closest girlfriends at the Food

  • and Wine Magazine offices in town,

  • at the iconic Time and Life building.

  • The girls who came along with me for

  • the night were Nilou Motamed and

  • Sarah Rosenberg.

  • Who are these two people?

  • That the producer's chose to stand in as my

  • friends.

  • She doesn't have any friends.

  • We're doing well with the script though.

  • Natural.

  • Tell me more about your self.

  • The three of us get together a lot.

  • We sort of have a big crew of friends that love

  • to eat and drink, love to travel.

  • No one will be safe.

  • And he has done it before.

  • So he knows.

  • Okay, where are we going, Gail?

  • Where are we heading?

  • Oh we're going to Navy.

  • Tell us a little bit more about.

  • Oh right.

  • She's posting.

  • No I'm getting out.

  • I'm done.

  • What's your Instagram strategy?

  • Shut up.

  • All right we're going to Navy.

  • Camille Becerra's restaurant in SoHo.

  • Camille was on the third season of Top Chef,

  • she was a contestant and she did well but

  • not great in the season.

  • I could tell she was a great cook and

  • she's just a great person and

  • we stayed in touch after the season and she is so

  • creative, and she has done so

  • well, and Navy is such a cool little spot.

  • I chose to go to Navy specifically, because I

  • think it's such a hidden gem in New York City.

  • It really is one of those places that

  • I can eat several times a week.

  • It's totally unfussy.

  • The mood of the room is so comfortable and

  • organic.

  • I like the way it smells a little smokey.

  • It does smell good in here.

  • It's just, isn't it a cool,

  • pretty little situation?

  • It's really sexy because you could totally have

  • an affair here Noted, noted.

  • What are you?

  • What do you think we should do because we're

  • gonna just get a few things

  • because we're like moving Yeah.

  • It's a progressive.

  • Around a bit.

  • Of course.

  • So why don't you just do like,

  • Whatever you think.

  • Little apps, right?

  • I would describe Camille's food

  • as being super seasonal.

  • Simple.

  • Very clean.

  • Bright flavors.

  • She loves to play with texture.

  • We started with a scallop svechice which had tons

  • of lime, lots of herbs and avocado.

  • Really good.

  • The bavitas actually.

  • The bavitas are the shit.

  • Make it.

  • Super crunchy.

  • She knows what she's doing.

  • She's no dumb dumb.

  • I absolutely loved the scallops svechice was

  • a great way to start our night.

  • A fresh clean bite at the beginning of what

  • was gonna be a very long night ahead of us.

  • You can just pick it up and whenever you want.

  • We also had her liver toast,

  • which she shaves chocolate onto.

  • You think that's gonna have a strange,

  • sweet effect, but

  • it's a bittersweet chocolate that

  • really goes well with the richness of the liver.

  • We had a few salads that I loved especially this

  • Asian pear and radish salad.

  • That I expected to be chunky and crunchy,

  • but she shaved the radish and the Asian pear so

  • thinly in rounds, on the mandolin, and

  • then dressed it with a beautiful olive oil and

  • some, what she called a citronet.

  • Which, she actually described as a sweet

  • lemonade vinaigrette that really brought the dish

  • together.

  • It was a bit of a revelation.

  • It's just like fresh and.

  • She's like, she gets it.

  • You know what I mean?

  • Bye, thanks for visiting.

  • Thank you for having us.

  • We'll see you soon.

  • Bye.

  • >From there we walked to ZZ's Clam Bar.

  • ZZ's Clam Bar is run by

  • I have three good friends of mine, Rich Tarrizzi,

  • Mario Carbone, and Geoffrey Zalazneck.

  • It's a really special,

  • kind of magical cocktail place.

  • The cocktail director, mixologist,

  • Thomas, is a total character.

  • He's so talented.

  • They're usually not open on Mondays,

  • but we went anyway.

  • It was amazing because we got to saddle up to that

  • beautiful marble bar.

  • We should not be sitting,

  • here this is not usually how we sit.

  • We're blocking the view,

  • we're distracting poor Thomas from his work.

  • But, tonight's a special night.

  • So this is cilantro and jalapeno juice tequila.

  • That's my jam. Yeah with house made

  • grenadine.

  • That's so good.

  • That's unbelievable.

  • My whole face is on fire.

  • It's not, it's not not spicy.

  • Pass that baby over here.

  • It's not not spicy. It's bananas.

  • The food is absolutely beautiful here, but

  • you go for the cocktails.

  • You can not believe how stunning and creative and

  • really insane these cocktails are.

  • Thomas, is a mad scientist, he's a genius.

  • We went in thinking we would try one

  • or two cocktails.

  • Maybe among the three of us, we'd have five

  • to get a feel for how awesome they are.

  • But of course we ended up drinking eight,

  • eight cocktails at that bar.

  • So Thomas, would you say the recipe for

  • a really sloppy night is to have

  • eight different cocktails right in a row?

  • Correct.

  • Yeah, it depends on what kind of champ

  • you are, I think.

  • I mean I can do eight cocktails.

  • Wow. That's ugly.

  • Mm. So the next one I'm

  • making for you is the pistachio.

  • I absolutely went crazy for this pistachio

  • cocktail that had kumquats on top of it.

  • Another amazing combination.

  • Oh, my God.

  • This is like an Italian rainbow cookie.

  • So good.

  • It's like a dessert.

  • We also ate some amazing things at ZZ's.

  • We had these beautiful, perfect little Japanese

  • sardines with blood orange and other citrus.

  • We had this fantastic scallop dish.

  • Live scallop that had been thinly sliced and

  • then drizzled with brown butter.

  • And we had some lobster svechice

  • Since you've worked at

  • a lot of bars in your history in San Francisco

  • what's the worst and

  • best pickup line you've ever heard?

  • It was a guy talking to a girl.

  • And it was something like are you Mumford?

  • Because I wanna make your sons.

  • Oh. But why?

  • It was so bad, like she was so confused.

  • I don't even know if she knew who the band was.

  • Right. Oh.

  • Anyway, the band sucks too, so.

  • Yeah, whole thing.

  • But we do have to leave you, don't you think?

  • Thomas, thank you.

  • Any time. Thank you for having us.

  • Wait, with or without the stir.

  • That was appropriate,

  • actually, just make it like that.

  • It feels good.

  • We're making a drink right now.

  • >From there we headed to Miss Lily's 7A.

  • Are you sober, Alana, to be driving right now?

  • Because I am not.

  • Listen, Alana, I know

  • you sucked down

  • Pistachio I downed it.

  • I downed it.

  • I downed the pistachio ladies.

  • Hey ladies, where we going next?

  • That's the worst, that the worst.

  • Ladies, no it like.

  • Like the Liza Minnelli coming out.

  • Hey ladies, where we coming next?

  • We're going.

  • Where are we going?