The Hilarious Dinner Story Between Gail Simmons And Padma Lakshmi

Over the years, Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi have spent a great deal of time together. They've gone from city to city, filming season after season of "Top Chef," with Simmons serving as a judge and Lakshmi as the host since the show started in 2006, per IMDb. Given the nature of the show, many of their memories together revolve around food, from some of the mouthwatering meals contestants prepared to the disastrous dishes that ended up losing them a spot on the show.

It seems the duo enjoy dining together so much that they don't restrict it to when the cameras are rolling. In a conversation with The New York Times' food and cooking editor, Emily Weinstein, Lakshmi told the tale of a particularly memorable dining experience the she had with Simmons in Lakshmi's then NYC neighborhood of Alphabet City.

It's safe to say that both Simmons and Lakshmi have adventurous palates. They're accustomed to eating just about anything that's plated and presented to them, even if they may be skeptical about the particular flavor combination or preparation. There's likely not much they'd consider sending back to the kitchen. However, for one particular brunch excursion, the pair encountered a meal that even they couldn't stomach.

An undercooked catastrophe

Eggs are a staple of most brunch menus, whether they're humble scrambled eggs for a casual spot, eggs Benedict for a more elevated menu, or something truly decadent topped with caviar at a luxurious brunch spot. So, it makes sense that Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi would opt for something with eggs for the late morning meal. As Lakshmi told The New York Times, they were so tempted by one particular dish that the duo ended up ordering the exact same thing.

Unfortunately, reality didn't quite line up with their expectations. Though both Simmons and Lakshmi are adventurous eaters, the soft-boiled egg that was placed in front of them was so undercooked that neither felt comfortable consuming it, Lakshmi explained.

Not only do raw eggs have a slimy, unappealing texture, but consuming them when they're completely undercooked can also pose a health hazard. As the CDC explains, eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella. While it's relatively rare — WebMD estimates only about 1 in 20,000 eggs will be affected by the bacteria — it's still not something you want to risk. Cooking an egg to just 74 degrees Celsius (or about 165 degrees Fahrenheit) will kill the Salmonella bacteria, according to Australian Eggs, so sending it back seems like the safe thing to do.

And that's exactly what Simmons and Lakshmi did — however, they ended up receiving a second attempt that was just as raw as the first, in a bit of a comedy of errors.