Gail Simmons Becomes a U.S. Citizen on Her Birthday After 23 Years 'as a New Yorker'




Gail Simmons just became a U.
Gail Simmons just became a U.  

Gail Simmons Instagram

Double congratulations are in order for Top Chef judge Gail Simmons!

On Thursday, Simmons celebrated her 46th birthday by officially becoming a U.S. citizen. The Canadian-born cookbook author, who moved from Canada to New York over two decades ago, posted the big milestone on her Instagram feed.

"Yesterday was BIG. 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," she captioned the post.

In the selfie, Simmons is holding a mini American flag standing in front of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in New York City.

One aspect of being a citizen that the Bravo star is looking forward to? Being able to finally vote.

"Next stop, registering to #vote! Ready to finally participate fully," she added.

She also described the two-in-one celebration with friends and family.

RELATED: Top Chef's Final Four Head to Tucson for Last Two Episodes: 'This Will Knock Your Socks Off'

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi Says Top Chef Jackson Kalb's Loss of Taste 'Didn't Factor Much' for the Judges

"Also there was profiteroles and Champagne and lots of handmade cards from the kids, and cuddles and flowers and good friends, and maybe I shed a tear or two. ????????????????????????," wrote the mom of two.

After thanking friends and fans for the flood of sweet birthday messages, she added, "I'm one overwhelmed and incredibly lucky American girl. ????"

Several of the chef's celebrity friends commented on her momentous post, including Tyler Florence who wrote, "Congrats!!!"

Top Chef alum and winner of season 10 Kristen Kish also commented on Simmons' post. "AMAZING!! Big congrats and even bigger hugs! ❤️," she wrote.

RELATED: Top Chef's Jackson Kalb Details the 'Stressful' Challenge of Competing Without His Sense of Taste

In the final episodes of Top Chef season 19, Kish joins Simmons, host Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio at the judges' table as a guest judge with Stephanie Izard and Eric Ripert.

On Friday, PEOPLE shared an exclusive trailer that revealed that the final episodes of the season will take place in Tucson, moving out of the season-long setting of Houston.

The Emmy-winning competition show, which started with 15 chefs, is now down to four chefs in the second-to-last episode: Damarr Brown, Evelyn Garcia, Buddha Lo and Sarah Welch.

In the trailer, the pressure is high and competition is fierce as any mistake in the kitchen can cost the talented competitors their chance at the prestigious culinary title of Top Chef.

While the trailer doesn't show which three chefs made the final episode, the four-course progressive menus they cook up definitely seem impressive.

Of the finalists' dishes, guest judge Ripert said, "I mean it was unbelievable."

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