By BILLY JOE JESSUP
TV personality Guy Fieri is my guy because of the long-running and highly addictive series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” but soon I’ll be switching from the Food Network show to watch “Beach Bites with Katie Lee” on the Cooking Channel.
I learned about Lee and the show she hosts when I read a story on the website of my local newspaper on Monday. The story said that the Mississippi Coast, where I live, will be featured in the Season 3 series premiere Thursday at 9 p.m. CDT, but I bet the episode won’t be about the celebrity chef visiting three of my favorite restaurants in Gulfport-Biloxi: Daylight Donuts, Ana’s Donuts and Fantasy Donuts.
In advance of the episode, I have come up with a list called “5 Things to Know About Katie Lee,” most of them associated with a famous singer. Google likes lists and I’m hoping this will blast my SEO into the social media stratosphere.
1. Lee was married to musician Billy Joel from 2004 to 2010. She was 23 on their wedding day and he was 55.
2. The Televisionary blog referred to her as “Top Chef’s” robotic host Katie Lee Joel and the veritable “Uptown Girl” back in 2006, when news broke she was fired after the first season of the Bravo show. One of the typical comments left on the site: “Katie Lee is a very pretty girl but she’s about as exciting to watch as a piece of cardboard.” That makes me feel bad for Lee, but I found this 2008 Howard Stern video that makes me feel better.
3. Earlier this year, Lee became engaged to TV producer Ryan Biegel, who worked on “Beach Bites” in 2016. Both are 36. Combine their ages and you get 72, which is what Joel will be in 2021.
4. Lee is a cookbook author and novelist, and her one work of fiction so far is “Groundswell,” published in 2011. I have no idea if “Groundswell” is a roman a clef about her unsuccessful marriage to Joel. I have yet to do a fact check on that. I would like to think of “Groundswell” as a roman a chef.
5. When they were married, she inspired Joel to write the song “All My Life,” released as a 2007 single that includes these lyrics: “All my life / I’ve searched this whole world through / Try as I might / To find someone like you.” Five years after the divorce from Lee, Joel married his fourth wife, Alexis Roderick, 33 at the time.
I must have been asleep during the years Lee and Joel were married. I thank Google’s Katie Lee search results for waking me up and helping me come up with this fine piece of quality journalism.