“During the first season of Top Chef, I was horrified when I read the blogs and online forums about our show—forget what people said about the show content itself, it was the personal attacks on us that really shocked me. Viewers commented on everything from the size of my ears to the size of my bust and my waistband. It was incredibly hurtful and rude. As time went on and the show had more and more success, I learned to stop reading the negative feedback as it just hurt my feelings and was destructive. I also realized that even negative comments work in our favor in some way, as whether or not people like how I look or what I have to say, they are still watching our show, reacting and engaging with it. It becomes more of a dialogue, and at the end of the day, that’s why we do it in the first place, right?”
Gail Simmons is Food & Wine Special Projects Director and author of the upcoming book, Talking With My Mouth Full.