KMOX Food Fight Chef Bio: Katie Lee, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta
Katie Lee was born and raised in Saint Louis, MO. Katie has also lived in Florence Italy with her mother and professional artist Belinda Lee. Katie’s time in Florence Italy shaped her vision for food and style and was one of the driving forces in her successful concept. Katie then worked for 7 years for her Aunt Zoe (Robinson) Pidgeon, local restaurateur and owner of many successful restaurants including Cafe Zoe, Zoe’s Pan-Asian Cafe, Il Fratellini, Les Freres, and BOBO Noodle House. Katie Lee was the Creator/Founder and Executive Chef at age 25 of Katie’s Pizzeria in Clayton, MO. Katie’s Pizzeria will be open 6 years in Feb 2013.
Katie is now the owner and executive chef of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria in St. Louis, MO, with business partner and fiancé Ted Collier.
Katie’s Pizza & Pasta has been open 90 days and was funded in part by a successful Kickstarter.com campaign that raised $42,000. Katie’s Pizza & Pasta showcases in house from scratch artisan Italian cooking while using local and seasonal ingredients. The beautiful artisan pasta in all shapes and colors dries on racks throughout the restaurant. The wood burning pizza oven is exposed to the dining room in an open kitchen. The wall behind the bar plays retro Italian films on a large projector along with two beautiful living green walls.
This success can be attributed to many things: Katie’s full time management of front and back of house, focus on consistency, effective marketing strategies, an innovative concept, high quality product and service, and a desire to grow and change with the market.
Katie was featured on the cover of the St. Louis Business Journal, where they recognized her current operations success during the recession. Katie was also featured in Small Business Monthly as one of the Top 6 Young Professionals in St. Louis. Katie and her current operation are often featured in local papers and magazines including Sauce Magazine, Feast Magazine, St. Louis Magazine, Riverfront Times, Ladue News, STL Today and Alive Magazine. Katie has also been invited to appear on local radio and TV programs to talk about Katie’s Pizzeria and its success. Katie has won many awards for her menu including, best pizza by multiple publications 4 years in a row, best authentic pizza, best salads, best pizzeria, best toasted ravioli’s and towns top toppings, along with glowing reviews and articles from all of the city’s top publications and online blogs and reviews.
Katie’s focus now is expanding the brand on national level and giving back to the community. Katie has started this process by developing a series of video’s showcasing her cooking and restaurant that will launch this month. Katie also has plans to publish a cookbook as well as sell her pastas and sauces in retail stores. Katie’s Pizza & Pasta is giving back by partnering with Food Outreach, Gateway:180, Siteman Cancer Center, Haven House and Dining Out For Life.
Follow Katie on Twitter – @KatiePizzaPasta