Katie Lee (food critic)

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Katie Lee
Katie Lee Joel.jpg
Katie Lee, September 2007. Photo by Christopher Peterson.
Born Katherine Rebekah Lee
(1981-09-14) September 14, 1981 (age 33)
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Other names Katie Lee Joel
Occupation Cook, Author
Spouse(s) Billy Joel (2004–2010; divorced)

Katherine Rebekah "Katie" Lee (born September 14, 1981) is an American cookbook author, television food critic, cook, and novelist.


Lee is from Milton, West Virginia. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a Bachelor's degree in English and Journalism.[1] While there she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.[2] She spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy at The British Institute.[3][4]

She met Billy Joel when she was 22 years old, while visiting New York City for a weekend.[5] After dating for a year, she and Joel married at his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, on October 2, 2004. Alexa Ray Joel, Billy Joel's daughter from his marriage to Christie Brinkley, served as maid of honor.[citation needed]

After nearly five years of marriage, Billy and Katie Lee separated in June 2009.[6] The separation came after months of rumors that Lee was having an affair with Israeli fashion designer Yigal Azrouel.[6]


Lee has worked in several restaurants and gourmet food and wine stores. In 2003, she helped to open Jeff and Eddy’s Restaurant where she served as the house fishmonger.[4]

In July 2005, Lee created the foodie website OliveAndPeach.com with partner Aleishall Girard. The web site ceased updating in September 2006.

In 2006, she hosted the first season of Bravo's Top Chef. Critical reception to Lee's hosting style was less than enthusiastic, however, with many viewers citing her lack of culinary credibility and monotonal delivery as detrimental to the enjoyability of the show.[7] As such, Bravo producers decided to replace her with a more lively Padma Lakshmi in an effort to boost ratings and bolster viewer reception.[8] She later returned as a guest judge on Top Chef All Stars, Episode 2 ("Night at the Museum") in 2010.

Lee's first cookbook, The Comfort Table, was published by Simon & Schuster.[9]

In October 2009, Simon & Schuster released Katie's second cookbook The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions [10]

In June 2011, Katie released her first novel Groundswell about a woman recovering from divorce who finds the healing power of surfing. She is currently writing her next book.[11]

Lee served as a food and lifestyle contributor for The Early Show and has appeared on Extra as a special correspondent. Additionally, she is a contributing editor to Gotham magazine, and her culinary and lifestyle column, "Katie's Kitchen", is published weekly in its sister magazine Hamptons.[12] Lee has also appeared on Paula's Party, Martha, Today, The Early Show,The Nate Berkus Show, Rachael Ray Show, and Fox News. In 2007, she was a judge on Iron Chef America.[12]

Lee is an active member of the Feeding America Entertainment Council.[13]

She previously sat on the council of Chefs for Humanity, a group that provides humanitarian aid worldwide. She has also volunteered for Les Dames d'Escoffier, an organization that educates and mentors women in the culinary profession.[14]

Lee appeared on the video blog Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk on May 8, 2009.[15]

Lee is one of the hosts on Food Network's talkshow The Kitchen.[16]


  1. ^ "Katie Lee Joel". TV.com. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kappa Alpha Theta - Notable Thetas". Kappa Alpha Theta. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Katie Lee Joel to host Bravo's upcoming 'Top Chef' reality series". Reality TV World. October 2, 2004. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Katie Lee Joel Talks About Food by an Interview by Rosalie Sendor - GREAT RESTAURANTS OF LONG ISLAND[dead link]
  5. ^ Winfrey, Oprah (Jan 1, 2006). "Billy and Katie Joel Movin' Up". Oprah.com. Retrieved Dec 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Rush, George (June 17, 2009). "Billy Joel and wife Katie Lee split". Daily News (New York). 
  7. ^ "Bravo fires Katie Lee". Televisionaryblog.com. June 20, 2006. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Padma to replace Katie Lee". Televisionaryblog.com. June 27, 2006. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ Boncompagni, Tatiana (May 11, 2008). "Downtown-Uptown Girl". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ De Heer, Sarah (Dec 2, 2009). "'The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions' - Cookbook Spotlight". Slash Food. Retrieved Dec 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Steinke, Lisa (Jun 21, 2012). "Katie Lee talks Groundswell". She Knows. Retrieved Dec 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Chefs for Humanity Home Page". Chefsforhumanity.com. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Feeding America Celebrity Partners". FeedingAmerica.org. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Chefs for Humanity Home Page". Chefsforhumanity.com. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Domestic Rosé Tasting With Katie Lee Joel – Episode #673". Tv.winelibrary.com. May 8, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Kitchen". Food Network. 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 

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