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

Credit: Dan Hallman

“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).