Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio get a lot of credit as the hosts of Top Chef, and they deserve it, but ask any longtime fan of the show, and they’ll tell you that Gail Simmons holds down that panel just as intelligently and eloquently as her compatriots—and that she always looks great doing it. From what we’ve heard, she sits on top of many people’s television crush lists, and she’s rapidly working her way up ours after the Love Week interview above. In it, Simmons expounds on her excellent decades long crush on Sir Patrick Stewart—she had a life-sized cutout in her dorm room!—talks about her dislike of tripe, and dishes on what she’d put on a crush-worthy playlist. We also talk Top Chef love connections, her parents’ love story, and the truly romantic value of one parent letting the other sleep in on weekends.
Top Chef will return to Bravo on April 1, with the launch of Top Chef: Portland. Simmons is also hosting Top Chef: Amateurs, which should premiere sometime later this year as well.