A heavily pregnant Gail Simmons made a special appearance on the latest episode of Top Chef — just three days before she gave birth to her baby son!
If you’re been watching the new season of the Bravo series, you’d probably noticed that she was missing as a main judge.
That’s because she had to step away from filming most of the season to give birth to son Kole Jack Abrams, in New York City on May 23.
With the season being filmed in the spring, it overlapped with her maternity leave.
Gail’s kept photos of her son under wraps for the most part, but she has shared a few with fans.
Looks like he’s already a foodie, just like his mom! Kole is Gail’s second child with her husband, music executive Jeremy Abrams. He joins big sister Dahlia Rae, 4.
Gail’s appearance during last night’s Quickfire Challenge was a pretty big deal: not only did the filming date coincide with her birthday (and the Royal Wedding), she was just three days away from giving birth! With so much to celebrate, cake is pretty much mandatory.
Gail talks about why it was important to her to be in at least part of season 16 over on Bravo’s Daily Dish, saying, “I felt like I had to do it for myself almost, number one, because I couldn’t imagine not being in a season that way at all and not meeting the contestants face-to-face and having at least a little bit of their food, but also for myself.
“Having a child can be very isolating and I was like, ‘You know what, I wanna go be with my other family right now and see them, and I know that it would really make me happy to get out and do this one thing for myself.”
Congratulations to Gail and her family!
Top Chef airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Bravo. Last Chance Kitchen, where eliminated chefs get a shot at redemption and a ticket back into the show, airs immediately following each episode exclusively on Bravo’s website.