Gail Simmons' Birthday Included A Major Milestone

May 19 means a lot of things to a lot of people. According to On This Day, May 19 was when Ringling Brothers hosted their first circus (in 1884), a new generation of "Star Wars" fans lined up for "The Phantom Menace" (in 1999), and the Spanish confiscated a bunch of English ships (in 1585). But for Gail Simmons, long-standing "Top Chef" judge, cookbook author, and co-host of TV's "The Good Dish" (via, May 19 can only mean one thing: her birthday.

Or, wait. Can it only mean one thing? Let's let Simmons be the judge of that. While Simmons was no doubt incredibly proud to blow out 46 candles on her last birthday cake (via People), there was another milestone achieved on this last birthday that had little to do with age and everything to do with patriotism. We'll give you a hint: Simmons is about to go from judge to jury (duty). She has our vote for the most productive birthday party. And now, her vote will count, too.

A Gail of patriotic wind blows this way

"Yesterday was BIG," Gail Simmons wrote on Instagram on May 20, just one day after the anniversary of the English ship-stealing event people are still talking about today. "Sure, I turned a year older (who's counting at this point?) but perhaps more importantly, after 23 years – almost to the day – as a New Yorker, I was sworn in as a US Citizen." 

That's right: If you didn't know, Simmons is actually Canadian, though she lives and works in the United States. Though she may have had plenty of poutine in her youth, she now judges American chefs on "Top Chef," and that undoubtedly counts as patriotism to us. Now, she'll be tasting dishes as a full-fledged U.S. citizen, and as "one overwhelmed and incredibly lucky American girl," as she puts it in her Instagram post. "Love this!!!!!" commented Samantha Brown of Travel Channel fam, playfully adding, "We need you."

According to Simmons, the next step in the patriotic process for her will be registering to vote,but not before enjoying the spoils of becoming a newly minted citizen. "Profiteroles and Champagne and lots of handmade cards from the kids, and cuddles and flowers and good friends," Simmons wrote, ticking off some of the best things about being an American. "And maybe I shed a tear or two," she admitted. 

And if she accidentally takes the judge's stand when she gets called in for jury duty? Don't judge her.