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Katie Lee Joel

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Katie Lee Joel (born January 1, 1981) is the current wife of the prolific, award-winning musician Billy Joel. Before her marriage to Joel, she was a resident of Huntington, WV, and later received her Bachelor's degree in English and Journalism from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Joel's first cookbook, "The Comfort Table" was published by Simon & Schuster. She regularly appears on Extra as a special correspondent. 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. In 2006, she hosted the first season of Bravo's Top Chef. Critical reception to Joel's hosting style was less than enthusiastic, however, with many viewers citing her lack of culinary credibility and monotonic delivery as detrimental to the enjoyability of the show. As such, Bravo producers decided to replace her with a more lively Padma Lakshmi in an effort to boost ratings and bolster viewer reception. Joel has also appeared on Paula's Party, Martha, Today, Iron Chef America, The Early Show, and Fox News. During 2007, she was a judge on Iron Chef America. Joel has been featured in publications like People, In Style, Life and Style, Celebrity Living, and The New York Dog Magazine.

Joel sits on the council of Chefs for Humanity, a group that provides humanitarian aid worldwide and she is also a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an organization that educates and mentors women in the culinary profession.

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

She married musician Billy Joel at his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, on October 2, 2004. Alexa Ray Joel, Billy's then 18-year-old daughter from his marriage to Christie Brinkley, served as maid of honor. The couple resides in the New York and Miami areas.

According to Oprah, Katie Lee Joel makes the world's best meatloaf. According to Paula Deen, Katie makes the best Deviled Eggs.

Official Site: www.katieleejoel.com

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A Baby for Billy Joel?

Billy Joel’s wife, Katie Lee Joel, says they want to have kids.

“We talk about it, but we don’t have a timetable,” Katie says, adding, “I am such a family-oriented person, so I really do see that in my future.”

Katie, 26, made an appearance at Godiva Chocolatier in L.A.'s Century City Mall to promote her upcoming cookbook, The Comfort Table, and to give customers tips on Valentine’s Day recipes and entertaining.

Katie’s already got some baby names in mind. “I have a whole list!” she says. “I’m always thinking about cute names. I always say that babies are the new Birkin. They’re the hottest accessory right now. Everybody has to have one.” (Billy, 58, has one daughter, Alexa Ray, with his second wife, Christie Brinkley.)

But for the time being, Katie is thinking about her culinary career. She hosted the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef, and she has showed off her cooking skills on Martha, Today, The Early Show and Paula’s Party.

Yes, Katie wants her own show now.

“I think that would be the next step,” she says. “I would love to be able to get on TV and cook my own food...I’ve had meetings about it and have things in the works, so we’ll see.”


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Katie Lee Joel's cookin' up a rock-star life

Katie Lee Joel prepares some nostalgic bites inside her Miami Beach home.

Katie Lee Joel leads you to the kitchen of her waterfront Miami Beach house. Husband Billy, the rock star, has just taken off on one of his motorcycles to hang out at the Miami International Boat Show.

Katie's getting lunch ready, and the whole place smells like childhood. She has cheeseburgers on white toast browning on the griddle. She's taking chocolate-chip cookies from the oven and putting in potato wedges. Chocolate ice cream comes out of the freezer, and she's scooping it into a blender, adding chocolate syrup and milk -- because what's a burger and oven fries without a milkshake on the side?

Some cooks might be a little frazzled with so much going on and somebody watching their every move. But Katie's cool, like she's back home in West Virginia on a lazy summer afternoon making a little something to eat with her grandma, the woman who taught her to love the kitchen.

"I have always loved cooking, since I was a little girl," says Katie, 26, whose first cookbook, The Comfort Table (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $25), to be published in late April, features down-home recipes from her days of growing up around farmers. Granddad kept a big garden, and his cousins raised cows and pigs.

"My grandma would bring a stool over to the counter so that I could help her. My favorite was making biscuits, because it was like Play-Doh," Katie says. ‘‘If I slept in, and she had already made the biscuits for breakfast, that was when I would have my little cry. She would always end up having to make more just so that I could help."

The kitchen in the Joels' winter home is big and fancy. Top-of-the-line everything.

"We didn't have to do a single thing to the house. We bought it right after it was finished, with the furniture and everything already in it. We just brought our clothes and towels, basically," Katie says brightly, with a hint of Southern twang. She may have everything -- houses in South Florida, New York City and the Hamptons, plus a famous husband who has more than been there and done that -- but she seems far from copping a jaded stance.

Once lunch is ready -- the last touch is adding buttermilk dressing to fresh cole slaw -- she lets you help take everything outside so you can eat poolside, Billy's sleek retro boats (one he designed, and the other, a teal, 1950s-style $200,000 Pegiva he bought a couple of years ago while on tour in Australia) tied to the dock.


Katie, who studied English and journalism at Miami University in Ohio and figured out then that she wanted to combine her love of writing with her love for cooking, doesn't mind telling you the secret to her "Logan County burgers."

"My grandma was from a town called Peach Creek, and they grew up real poor. That's why these burgers are thin. You can get six of them out of a pound of meat. Even later when we were comfortable, she didn't get out of her Depression-era thinking. Everything was about buying on sale and making things go a long way. It's lean ground beef, garlic powder, salt, pepper, grated onion, egg to hold them together. Also, American cheese."

You haven't seen white bread in a while, you remark. And Katie chuckles.

"I mean, I mostly eat wheat bread to try to be healthy. But you can't beat white bread. People sometimes try to get too fancy with their cooking, and it ends up working against them."

And this seems Katie's magic. She has a way of disarming folks with her simplicity. Not that she hasn't been stressed once or twice entertaining all the famous people she has met as Billy Joel's wife.

"I was really nervous last summer. There is this Hamptons concert series, and they always have a different performer and a different chef doing the event. My husband was going to do the concert, and they asked me if I could do the food. It was like 1,500 people, including some of the most famous people who live there. Kelly Ripa, Alec Baldwin, Bon Jovi. You name them, they were there. I did fried chicken, marinated skirt steak, cole slaw, baked beans, corn-bread. I think sometimes people are expecting something fancy, and when you give them what they don't expect, they really appreciate it."

The one celeb who still makes her a little nervous?

"The only person I was star struck to meet was Martha Stewart. Because I loved her so much. She lives in the Hamptons, so I have now seen her a few times, and I'm not as star struck any more. But every time I do see her, I feel like I wanna stand a little taller."


Meeting Billy didn't stress out Katie, because the first time she met him, when she was 21, she had no idea who he was.

"It was a very chance meeting. I was in New York with a friend, being a tourist. You know, with a fanny pack and everything. Well, not really. But I was coming out of the bathroom in the lobby of our hotel, and he was coming around the corner. We almost bumped into each other. I didn't recognize him, but my girlfriend did."

The girlfriend told Billy they were going to the bar and suggested he meet them for a drink.

‘‘Twenty minutes later, there he was," Katie says. ‘‘We talked for a while, and then he invited us to dinner. Then he said, ‘I have this show on Broadway, Movin' Out.' And he takes us and jumps on stage to perform the last two songs. He was layin' it on so thick. Now I can't even imagine him doing something like that."

They eventually started dating and married in 2004, when she was 23 and he 54. Billy's daughter Alexa Ray, from his marriage to model Christie Brinkley, served as maid of honor.

"Obviously, there is a big age difference. We joke that he's very immature for his age, because he has a job that has allowed him to be, and I am very mature for my age. So we sort of meet in the middle. I know people may look at it and go, ‘Huh?' But the part that matters is that it's right for us, and it works."


Katie is working hard to become a food personality. She was host of Bravo's Top Chef for a season, has appeared on Paula Deen's Food Network shows, writes a food column for Hamptons magazine, goes on Extra as a correspondent. She served her Logan County burgers at the recent South Beach Wine & Food Festival's BubbleQ and made desserts for the festival's Paula Deen Poker Party.

She is hoping to snag her own cooking show and product line. And she's already working on her second cookbook. Though, truth is, she doesn't have to lift a finger. She could just enjoy being married to a rock star. (A rock star who loves his wife's meatloaf and pot roast but manages to stay clear of her career.)

"Doing nothing has never been an option for me," Katie says. "I have always been a hard worker. And I want to do this for myself. It feels good to accomplish something. I was always going to have my own career, no matter who I married."


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My Stuff: Katie Lee Joel

February 2008

Katie Lee Joel, at Sant Ambroeus, in New York City’s West Village.

West Virginia native Katie Lee Joel, a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and the wife of musician Billy Joel, debuts her first cookbook, The Comfort Table (Simon & Schuster), this spring. She culls recipes from her southern roots and gives them a healthy twist. Here with, her favorite things …


Favorite discovery: Dufour frozen puff pastry dough. It’s so delicious. I love it for chicken pot pie.

Who inspires you: My grandmother, when it comes to cooking.

Necessary extravagance: Expensive champagne.

Favorite place in the world: Kruger National Park, in South Africa.

Favorite Billy Joel song: “All My Life.” He wrote this song for me as a surprise for our anniversary. He’s such a romantic.

Beauty Products

Lipstick: Whatever is at the bottom of my purse.

Mascara: Maybelline Define-a-Lash.

Shampoo: Kérastase.

Moisturizer: Neutrogena Healthy Defense S.P.F. 30.

Hair product: L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray.

Perfume: Don’t wear any.

Toothpaste: Crest.

Soap: Dove.

Nail-polish color: Chanel Vamp.

Who cuts your hair: Marc Mena at Warren-Tricomi.

Who does your brows: Julie Tussey at Warren-Tricomi. I retired my tweezers when I met her.


Where do you live: New York.

Sheets: Leontine linens.

Coffee-maker: Capresso.

Pets: Two pugs.

Favorite flower: Hydrangeas.

Favorite gadget: MiniCuisinart.

Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Sant Ambroeus and BLT Burger.

Favorite cocktail: The Belle du Jour at the Waverly Inn, only by special request from Douglas at the bar.

Favorite dessert: Banana split made with Graeter’s ice cream.

Favorite snack: Guacamole and tortilla chips.

Favorite ingredient: Butter.


Jeans: J Brand.

Underwear: GapBody.

Sneakers: Stella McCartney for Adidas.

Watch: Men’s rose-gold Rolex.

T-shirt: Yigal Azrouel experimental tees.

Day bag: Zac Posen’s Devon bag.

Evening bag: Lanvin clutch.

Favorite accessory: Me & Ro gold hoop earrings.

Favorite designer: Yigal Azrouel.

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Billy Joel's wife Katie sets a 'Comfort Table'

May 20, 2008

Billy Joel will be the last performer ever to rock Shea Stadium when he gives two sold-out concerts in July. But the "Piano Man" also is celebrating a first this summer: a recipe in a brand new cookbook (his wife's), one he whips up often for guests at the couple's home in the Hamptons. It turns out the native New Yorker knows his way around the kitchen as well as around a stage.

"My husband is a great cook," says Katie Lee Joel, author of "The Comfort Table" (Simon Spotlight. $25.) "He makes a great spaghetti Bolognese, and he is always in charge of making the vinaigrette for the salad."

But the recipe that actually made it into her new book is a marinade for skirt steak.

"He was so proud to have his recipe printed," says Katie Lee Joel, who married Billy Joel in 2004, when she was 23 and he was 54. "It's a mix of lime juice, garlic and anchovy paste. You can slice the meat and make fajitas out of it."

Katie Lee Joel, who was born and raised in West Virginia, where her cousins raised pigs and cows and who learned to cook in her grandmother's kitchen, met Billy Joel totally by chance. She and a friend were at the rooftop bar at the Peninsula Hotel and "we literally almost bumped into each other," Katie Joel recalls. I wasn't really familiar with his music. My girlfriend recognized him."

A journalism major in college who came north to work as a fishmonger in a now-defunct Hamptons fish market ("I really didn't know anything about seafood and I wanted to learn,"), she landed a food column in a local newspaper and also did a stint for one season as host of Bravo's Top Chef.

Katie Joel's appeared on Paula Deen's Food Network shows, and just last week was named food and lifestyle correspondent for CBS. "I'll be doing some sort of cooking every week," she says. Chances are a lot of it will be like the food in her book, which is comfort fare with a pinch of attitude, and a nod toward nutrition. The book's got fried green tomatoes, peach cobbler, and chicken pot pie, but also offers gorgonzola and fig crostini, tarragon citrus mahi mahi, and roasted carrots with honey and mint. The list is eclectic, satisfying and a little exotic at times.

Married to a rock star has its perks to be sure, but Katie Lee Joel doesn't just sit around doing nothing when Billy's on tour. "If he is traveling, I love to have my friends over so I don't get lonely," she says. "You get a really different experience by having your friends at your house rather than in a restaurant. You can create such a warm environment in your home. I can still feel my friends' energy in my house after they leave."

Here's Billy Joel's recipe for a meaty dish that'll, um, rock your next dinner party.

Billy's Skirt Steaks

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)

1/2 cup olive oil

8 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 1/2 ounces anchovy paste (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds skirt steak

Fresh cilantro

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste and pepper until emulsified. Place the skirt steaks with the marinade in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow container and cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, or up to overnight.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Cook the steaks to desired degree of doneness. (The Joels prefer medium-rare.) Cut on the diagonal and serve garnished with fresh cilantro.


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