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Gail Simmons was 'horrified' by the perception that she was the 'mean, judgy one' on 'Top Chef'

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It's been 15 years since Bravo's cooking competition show, "Top Chef" premiered, and while a few things have changed over the years, the show is basically the same great cooking show it was in the beginning. Two people who were there from the beginning are judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. Yahoo Entertainment's Kylie Mar chatted with Gail about that first season and how the show has evolved over the years.

Gail didn't think the show would go past Season 1, which is lucky for Padma Lakshimi, who didn't start hosting until the second season. The first season was hosted by Food Network's Katie Lee. Also, the contestants weren't all technically "chefs." That first season featured contestants with a wide range of kitchen experience, and since then the show has moved toward more high-level chefs. One other thing that was a little different in the beginning was how the judges were portrayed.

Gail said that they started out trying to fit into typical reality show judge personas like "the evil one, and the nice one." But it didn't take long for Gail and everyone else at the show to realize that they needed to do their own thing. "My friends would say to me that people they knew, who didn't know me, would ask if I was really that mean in person. And I would be so horrified," Gail continued, "that's not at all my persona." It became obvious to everyone, not just Gail, that something needed to change. And so it did. "After a while, our producers realized, Bravo realized, and we realized that our viewers aren't going to invest in the show unless they believe us and can trust us with our opinions," said Gail.