Katie Lee
Courtesy of Cooking Channel

Katie Lee brings out the jealousy in me, in the best way possible. She has accomplished so much in the culinary world at such a young age, and seems to be only at the beginning of what she will be able to achieve in her amazing career.  Katie is a mainstay at both The Food Network & Cooking Channel, thanks to her super fun and colorful shows “Beach Bites with Katie Lee” and being a co-host on “The Kitchen”.  Outside of that, how did this all begin for Katie, and what is she hopeful for not only with the second season of her show “Beach Bites” but also her own future?

Katie has done it all within this fun and wonderful world of culinary destinations, including write her own book, host a myriad of shows while being a correspondent on programs like Today and “Rachael Ray”, appears on the Feeding America council, and more!  For anyone who wants to be successful in any field they are in, Katie is one person to definitely look up to when it comes to determination, drive and longevity!

We sat down with Ms. Katie Lee recently to find out about all of this, including her favorite food & drink to make guests during the summer time, where she enjoys dining and dishing in Manhattan, and so much more.  Take a look!

Courtesy of Cooking Channel

Congrats on the second season of your show, “Beach Bites with Katie Lee”!  What can viewers expect for this second go around?

On this season of Beach Bites, I travel around America to our best beaches.  There are so many amazing places right here in our own country to explore and so much variety in food.  From shrimp and grits in Gulf Shores, Alabama to fish tacos in San Diego, to a traditional Kahlua pork roast in Hawaii, I tried it all.

Seeing as we are approaching summer fast, do you have a favorite dish and drink you love to prepare for your guests when the months are hot?

I grill everything in the summer.  It’s fun to hang outside with guests while cooking.  I set up a self-serve bar area with an ice bucket filled with wine and I’ll make a pitcher cocktail, like watermelon rum punch.  Grilled pizza is one of my favorites.

I wanted to know what drove you to pursue a career in the culinary world, both on and off the camera?

When I started out, I wanted to be a food writer.  I studied journalism in college and I always loved writing.  My career evolved into television, and now I love it.  I think I have the best job in the world.

Who has been your biggest inspiration in all of this?

My grandma has always been my biggest culinary inspiration.  She’s the best cook ever, in my opinion, and an incredibly strong woman.

Do you have a favorite person you’ve met or moment in your career?

I got to meet Nora Ephron a few times before she passed away.  I love her work and admire her very much.

Courtesy of Cooking Channel

Our site is all about Manhattan culture, and that especially includes restaurants!  What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan, and why?

My favorite restaurant is Emilio’s Ballato, hands down.  I’ve been going there for years and the food is off the charts.  I am a pasta girl and they have the best in town.

Can you tell me ten songs that you listen to while you work or work out as it keeps you motivated, and why these songs?

In the kitchen, I set my Pandora to either Italian traditional radio or the French bistro station.  I know it’s a bit corny, but that kind of music just puts me in the mood to cook.  For my workouts, I go to Tracy Anderson Method and the trainers always play great music.

What are you ultimately excited about for your career moving forward?

I am excited every day to have this job.  I’ve never been one to set long term goals, I let things unfold the way that they will.  This summer I will start working on another cookbook, which is about a two-year process.  The Kitchen is going strong on Food Network and we are always in production, so I am always testing recipes for it as well.  My summer house guests are happy to be my guinea pigs!

For more information on Katie Lee, check out her Twitter & Instagram.  For more about her new season of Beach Bites, click here.