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Katie Lee

Katie Lee
CBS/Heather Wines
Katie Lee is an "Early Show" contributor.

For Katie Lee, cooking wasn't just a hobby growing up -- it was a way of life. Raised in a modest, tight-knit West Virginia family, each evening centered around the dinner menu. Eager to get involved, Lee began cooking at the age of four under the guidance of her mentor Grandma Dora. Using fresh vegetables from her grandpa's garden and meat from the family's cattle and pig farms, Lee quickly learned the value of seasonal ingredients.

From food to fashion, Lee summarizes her style with her three C's -- casual, comfortable with a touch of couture. She also refers to her culinary approach as "conscious consumption." She explains, "If you are what you eat, then you should know what you are eating, where it came from and how it was raised." This philosophy is reflected in her cookbooks "The Comfort Table," a best-seller, and "The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions."

"The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions" was released in October 2009 and features full menus for various at-home celebrations. Simple suggestions for decor and iPod playlists complement the theme of each meal to round out the experience, making a night at home an easily elegant event.

Lee's broad culinary experience ranges from hosting the first season of Bravo's hit reality series "Top Chef" to writing culinary and lifestyle features for an array of magazines. She is the food and lifestyle contributor for "The Early Show" and has appeared on "Oprah," "CBS Sunday Morning," "The Rachael Ray Show," "The Nate Berkus Show," and "Iron Chef America." She writes a regular column for Cosmopolitan has been featured in publications such as People, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, Town & Country, and InStyle.

In May 2011, Katie will expand beyond cookbooks by releasing "Groundswell," a novel.

Katie received her bachelor's degree in English and Journalism at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, and also studied in Florence, Italy. In 2004, she returned to her classroom in Italy to teach American students about dining in Tuscany.

Outside of her culinary adventures, Katie sits on the Celebrity Board for Feeding America and is a member of the Junior Committee for New Yorkers for Children. When not working or volunteering, she enjoys spending time in her organic garden, traveling, surfing, and playing with her pug Fionula. She resides in the Hamptons.