Katie Lee Overcomes Adversity in Quest for Fame

In this weekend’s Times Magazine, Frank Bruni profiles Katie Lee, the young ex-wife of Billy Joel and aspiring Food Network celebrity.

Lee is sort of famous but not very; try as she might, she has so far been unable to break into the ranks of true food celebrity. Her lack of a big personality seems to hamper her. But this does not mean her story is uninspiring:

She doesn’t come armed with any fancy degree or professional kitchen experience, but that may not matter in the end….

Lee, who is 28, has already published two cookbooks, the first of which sold well by industry standards, and has a regular home-entertaining gig on CBS’s “Early Show.” It’s not “Today,” and it’s certainly not her own Food Network showcase, which is what really sets a culinary celebrity in motion and accelerated the careers of Rachael Ray, for example, and Paula Deen. But it’s a start.

Both Ray and Deen have inspired Lee. “Rachael didn’t go to culinary school,” she said. “Paula didn’t go to culinary school. They opened the doors for people like me. Fifteen years ago, I couldn’t have had this career in food.”

Truly, a Horatio Alger-type trophy wife.