By Spencer Ackerman
This is an interminable essay about how a brand called Katie Lee is on the verge of becoming a food-TV star. It’s formally a terrible piece — it doesn’t, for instance, isolate any questions to explore about Katie Lee — and much of it could be spared by simply viewing season one of Top Chef. Why doesn’t Katie Lee take off on food TV? Because she’s not charismatic and she reads as vapid. What else is in the Times Magazine this week?
I suppose you could reasonably wonder why Katie Lee is any less interesting than the rest of the Food Network’s low-wattage stars, but in contrast to Katie Lee, most of them have individual identities, culinary profiles and gahhhhhhh who fucking cares.
One final thing about this offensively, aggressively uninteresting person:
It was during a visit to Manhattan to check out the school in late 2002 that she literally bumped into Billy Joel. She was rooting around in her purse, she told me, as she walked out of a hotel-lobby bathroom.
She said she didn’t recognize him, but a friend who was with her did, and invited him to join them for a drink. The next six hours were a modern fairy tale, during which Lee called her mother twice with breathless updates. Joel treated her and her friend to a lavish dinner that included white truffles at one of his favorite Italian restaurants, then spirited them to a Broadway theater for the final minutes of “Movin’ Out,” the Twyla Tharpproduction based on his music. He even got up onstage to sing. Lee assumed it was a regular gig but learned much later that he was trying to impress her. “It’s a good bag of tricks to have,” she said.
So now we know that Billy Joel’s courtship technique is to ever-so-slyly let a chick know that He’s Billy Joel. Now I ain’t saying she a golddigger…