10 Questions With...katie Lee Joel

The host of Top Chef reveals her favorite challenge.

Katie Lee Joel is a life-long foodie, she's sexy, she runs a website called OliveandPeach.com, she's Billy Joel's wife, and you'd have to live under a rock to not know that she's the host of Top Chef!

HEY KLJ! LAST TIME I SAW YOU WAS TWO WEEKS AGO IN L.A. AT THAT INSANE REUNION SHOW. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE TAPING?
(laughs) The reunion show taping was probably the worst day of taping in talk show history -- absolute chaos. If you watched that Britney and Kevin reality show, you will see that they have nothing on our chefs when it comes to chaos.

ANY MOMENTS STICK OUT?
Cynthia was egging on Ken the whole time. The two of them were going back and forth. I felt like she knew exactly his buttons to push to get him to act out. I can't imagine what it had been like if he had stayed on the show beyond the first episode.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHALLENGE?
I love the microwave challenge! I had such a good time watching the presentations -- I know that was the least favorite of the chefs and we all expected them to fail miserably, so I was pleasantly surprised with what they pulled off. Dave's magical lasagna was my favorite. Anything with melted cheese and tomato sauce makes me happy!

YOU TRIED EVERYTHING OVER THE COURSE OF THE SERIES -- WHAT DISH TASTED THE BEST TO YOU?
My favorite dish through the entire competition was Harold's pink snapper that he made in the signature dish challenge of the first episode. If that was on a restaurant menu, I would go once a week.

AND YOUR LEAST FAVORITE DISH?
Oh, I am trying to run through my mind at what was served. The Wedding Episode for sure -- I really didn't like anything that entire night. Namely the cake. I am really against cake mixes.

CAN YOU MAKE A CAKE FROM SCRATCH?

Absolutely! There was no such thing as a cake mix in my family. It doesn't save that much time with a mix. It's not a big deal to make a cake from scratch and it tastes so much better.

IF YOUWERE GOING TO HIRE SOMEONE TO CATER A MEAL FOR YOU AND YOUR MAN, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Hmmm. I would hire Harold. I think his food is always consistent. And I'd want Lee Anne to be there with him, I like her a lot. I like the simplicity of Harold's dishes. His flavors shine through. My man and I are into organic foods and fresh clean tastes, and that's what Harold is about too.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN NYC RIGHT NOW?
My favorite restaurant changes all the time, but right now I am obsessed with Ballatto's at 55 East Houston Street between Mott and Mulberry. The chef is named Emilio -- he's from Naples. You walk in and you are in Italy. Everything, including the pasta, is handmade. Everything tastes perfect. You don't have to get dressed up. It's one of those places my husband and I can have a chilled out great night with some rigatoni and cannolis.

SPEAKING OF YOUR HUSBAND, WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING MARRIED TO BILLY JOEL?
I feel like he's two different people -- the rock star and my Bill, my guy at home. We just have fun together. He is so easy to be around and we have a great time even if we're doing nothing. We don't annoy each other we just have fun. The hardest part of filming Top Chef was being away from each other. Sometimes if I'm really good he'll sing to me.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BILLY JOEL SONG?
It changes all the time. I really love "River of Dreams" right now and I love dancing to that. I love the lyrics and with all the concerts this year, it always gets me up and moving.

THANKS KLJ, HAVE A GOOD DAY!

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