Mitchell Davis is the executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a food journalist and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from NYU. With the Beard Foundation for almost 20 years, Davis has created and overseen many important initiatives, most recently an annual conference and national dialogue on sustainability and public health in the food system. In addition to his work at the Foundation, Davis frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants program. He has written four cookbooks, including The Mensch Chef and Kitchen Sense (both Clarkson Potter) and he is a regular contributor to the Art of Eating and Gastronomica. His T.V. appearances include Food Network’s Food(ography), Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Best in Smoke, on which he was one of three judges. Davis is host of Taste Matters, a weekly radio show (Wednesdays at 11 am) on The Heritate Radio Network.
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Now entering its tenth season, Top Chef is rated the #1 food show on cable television. Most recently, Gail became the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise, which aired its second season in the fall of 2011.
In addition to her work on Top Chef , Gail joined Food & Wine in 2004 and directs special projects for the magazine. Prior to joining Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Gail makes frequent television appearances on TODAY on NBC, ABC’s Good Morning America and Fox & Friends, among others. She has been featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, TV Guide, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post. She also has appeared at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals, including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, New York City Wine & Food Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Kohler Food & Wine Experience and the Cayman Cookout. She can also be seen in the online video series The Pantry Project, where she teaches viewers new ways to cook with the staples, both familiar and unusual, in their kitchens.