Chatting with foodie Gail Simmons

Earlier this month, 16 chefs and hosts Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons joined almost 2,000 fans on the Celebrity Constellation out of PortMiami for “Top Chef: The Cruise.” Fans chowed down on multiple dishes inspired by the show, participated in cooking demonstrations and even took in a DJ set by Top Chef Hubert Keller.

Simmons welcomed the interaction with the chefs aboard, as she met their families and “got to know them as people.”

“When we shoot the season, we spend no time with them,” she said. “When they’re on camera, we never see what goes on in the kitchen.”

Simmons and the passengers were able to interact with the chefs through multiple question and answer sessions, book signings and chance encounters.

Fans could also book a jeep expedition in Cozumel, which included a tequila tasting and Mexican-inspired cooking demonstrations with Top Chefs Casey Thompson and Tiffany Derry.

“There are those moments that aren’t programmed, so to speak,” Simmons said. “One night I was dancing with friends and a bunch of fans were coming up to me and dancing with us. They were just happy to be there.”