2015 Honoree

Katie Lee Beigel

Novelist, cookbook author, co-host The Kitchen

…“I’ve found it’s not the things I’ve done that I regret, it’s the things I haven’t done. Say yes to all the opportunities that present themselves to you!”…

Who inspires you the most?

My grandmother has always been my greatest culinary inspiration and my greatest inspiration for being a strong, independent woman. She never has a problem stating her opinion or standing up for herself. When she was in her late 50s, she decided to fulfill her goals and go to college and get her degree. I think that took incredible courage and I admire her so much for it.

Fill in the blank: You can never have enough _______.

Chocolate. I always have a stash on hand. I never want to run out.

What gets you through even the toughest days and what are you most grateful for?

A dirty martini! Just kidding. Honestly, what gets me through tough days is knowing that I have a really nice home life. I know how to “turn off” at home and relax. If I’ve been stressed, I’ll go home, turn on some music, open a bottle of wine, cook dinner, and everything else fades away. I am so grateful for all of my blessings, but most of all my home and family. And my dog, Fionula, the love of my life!

What is your best read? Favorite character you would most like to be?

I could never pick just one best read. There are so many books that I love! Really, what is better than sitting down with and good book and getting completely lost in the story? There are all the great classics, but some of my recent favorites have been Beautiful Ruins, All The Light We Cannot See, The Goldfinch, and The Rocks. I guess if I had to pick a character in one of those I would like to be like, it would be Lulu in The Rocks. She is pretty bad ass and independent.

What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?

Like everyone, I’ve made plenty of bad decisions in my life, but those made me the person that I am today. My best decisions are always the ones to take risks and get out of my comfort zone. I had a terrible fear of the ocean and a few years ago I decided to take surfing lessons to get over it. I now love the ocean and surfing changed my life. It made me learn how to let go of control and open myself up to new experiences. I try to do something that really makes me uncomfortable every few months. I took a comedy improv class, I tried the trapeze, I even auditioned for an off-Broadway play (and ended up getting the part!).

Within the past few years, social media has exploded. How can women use it to market themselves without seeming narcissistic?

I think it is a really fine balance between promoting yourself and being narcissistic. I think it is important to post things that make you happy and you feel good about, both personally and professionally.

Write a fortune you’d like for all women to receive in a fortune cookie.

“Just say yes.” I’ve found it’s not the things I’ve done that I regret, it’s the things I haven’t done. Say yes to all the opportunities that present themselves to you!