Gail Simmons has been a judge on Bravo's 'Top Chef' since the show first aired in 2006, and she says that back then she never could have anticipated the level of success it has now.
Season 13 takes the judges and contestants to California, where they travel throughout the state from episode to episode, which Gail says mixes things up to give the contestants new perspective and fresh ideas.
As the show enters its 13th season, Gail spoke to AOL BUILD about what we can expect from this new set of contestants, her relationship with the other judges off camera, how she balances her demanding profession with new motherhood and more.
Watch the full AOL BUILD interview in the video above, and check out the premiere of 'Top Chef' on Dec. 2 at 10/9 central on Bravo.
Check out photos of Gail through the years:
Gail Simmons through the years
Gail Simmons talks 'Top Chef' season 13 premiere
Gail Simmons arrives at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Television personality Gail Simmons attends the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2015 Upfront at The Jacob Javits Center on Thursday, May 14, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Gail Simmons, left, and Padma Lakshmi arrive at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Host and judge Curtis Stone and judge Gail Simmons introduce a preview of episode one at the "Top Chef Duels" Premiere Tasting Event, hosted by Chase Sapphire Preferred and Bravo, at the Altman Building, on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision for Chase Sapphire Preferred/AP Images)
Hugh Acheson, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio arrive at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre on Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED - Marketing Director for Chase Sapphire Preferred, Jeff Bedard, left, Bravo Media President Frances Berwick, Andy Cohen, executive vice president of development and talent at Bravo, head critic Gail Simmons, host Curtis Stone and Bravo Media Vice President of Partnership Marketing Jamie Cutburth attend "Top Chef Masters" Season 5 Premiere Tasting Event presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred and Bravo at 82 Mercer on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan AgostiniInvision for Chase Sapphire Preferred/AP Images)
Padma Lakshmi, right, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons arrives at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Gail Simmons and Andy Cohen arrive to the 22nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Saturday, March 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons pose in the press room with their awards for outstanding reality-competition program for "Top Chef" during the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Host Padma Lakshmi, left, and judge Gail Simmons are seen onstage during the presentation for "Top Chef: Las Vegas" at the NBC Universal Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
**COMMERCIAL IMAGE** In this photograph taken by AP Images for Bravo, Top Chef Just Desserts Day Wednesday, September 15, New York, NY -- Pictured: (l-r) Gail Simmons, Frances Berwick, President, Bravo Media. (Diane Bondareff/ AP Images for Bravo)
Gail Simmons, Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, from the show "Top Chef," arrive for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)