“I have never done a complete dinner for this many people!” marveled Katie Lee Joel (wife of Billy), 26, in an exclusive phone interview with the Transom, regarding the Southern-inflected clam bake she designed for her husband’s Ross School benefit concert on Saturday, Aug. 4.
Robbins Wolfe did the actual catering, but Ms. Joel, whose book The Comfort Table is due from Simon and Schuster in May 2008, insisted she was in the kitchen “observing” all week. “If my name’s on there I have to be sure that it’s just right,” she said, noting that the lobster rolls were among the evening’s biggest hits. “I was really happy with the execution.”
Music-wise, she said that “River of Dreams” was her favorite song in Mr. Joel’s set. “We joked that Saturday night was Joel family dinner theater,” she said, alluding to the presence of Mr. Joel’s ex-wife Christie Brinkley and their daughter, Alexa, in the 1,500-person audience. “We all get along great and we have a big happy family.” Suuure you do, honey!
Other attendees included Alec Baldwin, Adam Sandler, Mary-Kate Olsen, Renee Zellweger, Calvin Klein, Edie Falco and the Joels’ fave double-date couple, Howard and Beth Stern.
But by Mrs. Joel’s account, she and the hubby, who is 58, lead a quiet life of domestic contentment. “We probably eat in three or four nights a week,” she said. “My husband’s a good cook. He makes the best marinade.” Indeed, she included the soft rocker’s skirt steak recipe on the concert menu. “He has a great palate. We like to say it was love at first bite.”
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