Guide to Packing: Top Chef’s Gail Simmons

Guide to Packing: Top Chef’s Gail Simmons

Dan Hallman
Dan Hallman
Top Chef food guru Gail Simmons shares her recipe for looking good on the go.

“At times I’m traveling more than two weeks per month, and I always hit the ground running,” says Gail Simmons, who just wrapped up her sixth season as a judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking show Top Chef. Simmons is also the special projects director at T+L’s sister magazine Food & Wine. Whether she’s on the set in Las Vegas or at F&W’s annual Classic in Aspen food festival, what are Simmons’s main priorities? “To be comfortable, practical, and ready for anything.”

What’s in Her Bag?

(Hint: she doesn’t just “pack her knives and go.”)


“These Chloé sunglasses ($290) are stylish and sturdy—and they don’t get crushed in my carry-on.”

Toiletry Case

“My Swoop bag ($58) has pullout compartments; I bring the small one on board with beauty essentials.”

All-Purpose Balm

“Moisturizing in the air is vital. I like C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve ($5.50), especially for my lips.”

Travel Wallet

“Whenever I go abroad, I steal my husband’s Paul Smith passport holder ($195).”


“I never get on a plane without dried bananas (Trader Joe’s; $1.29) or dark chocolate (Valrhona; $13).

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