Celebrity caterer and former Great Neck resident Mary Giuliani has written a new entertaining how-to book, The Cocktail Party: Eat • Drink • Play • Recover, which was presented as a special gift at the open house held by Douglas Elliman in a fabulous gourmet kitchen at 3 Morgan Court in Manhasset, where she held a book signing and a catering demonstration.
Based on a love of entertaining, food and hospitality, the caterer to the stars launched Mary Giuliani Catering & Events in 2005 and creates parties for the crème de la crème of the art, fashion and entertainment sets.
Giuliani’s clients look to her to break traditional entertaining norms and instead bring to life one-of-a-kind, out-of-the-box, playful party ideas. She is a firm believer of the simple-yet-special approach to entertaining by setting up in advance and letting your guests help themselves.
The premise of Giuliani’s book is to organize yourself before your event, so that all the work is done in advance and you can enjoy your company while entertaining your guests. She introduces the idea of a party theme with festive “snacktivity” that turns favorite foods and toppings into an eye-popping treat.
At the demonstration, Giuliani prepared an appetizer that began with crostini covered with guacamole. The guests then customized their treat with an array of tasty toppings, which made the experience unique and fun. The customized hors d’oeuvre was self-serve with the exception of the crostini and guacamole.
For cocktails, Giuliani suggested, “Make it easy,” by putting all beverages on ice. She showed the guests how she transformed the beautiful sink into an ice bucket with chilled Perrier. A separate planter was filled with ice and chilled Prosecco, and nearby there were three pitchers of juice, so guests could make Bellinis in the flavor of their choice.
The engaging Giuliani was accompanied by her mother and aunt from Great Neck, who she introduced to the crowd. The Cocktail Party’s foreword was penned by Chef Mario Batali, who offers secrets for making any social gathering a you-should-have-been-there success.
Giuliani has appeared on Barefoot Contessa, Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kobe, The Nate Berkus Show, Good Morning America, Fox Morning News, VH-1 Big Morning Buzz Live and Plum TV.