Plan a ‘Snacktivity’ with help from ‘Cocktail Party’
If you’re thinking of throwing a party for the holiday season, you might want to include Mary Giuliani — or at least her sassy, stylish new book, “The Cocktail Party: Eat, Drink, Play, Recover.” This play-by-play guide by the Woodstock resident, lifestyle expert and A-list caterer (think Rolling Stones, Bradley Cooper, Stella McCartney, among many others) features fun recipes for entertaining, from classic cocktail parties to an “anything-but-average afternoon baby shower.” Each of her party themes — Christmas, Game Day, Awards Season, Surprise Party, Garden Party, Weddings and more — include a whimsical “Snacktivity” to turn favorite foods into something out of the ordinary (soup-sipping station, DIY grilled cheese setup and frittata bar, as examples). Her playful approach to making small bites and big drinks are bolstered by fanciful illustrations by Jason O’Malley, a Kerhonkson artist who has more than 12 books to his credit, and creative photography by Adrien Broom. In the forward to the book by Mario Batali, with whom she has collaborated on the venture Mario by Mary — seasonally inspired Italian dishes developed by Batali and executed by her team, Mary Giuliani Catering + Events — he calls it “a handbook for living well and appreciating life with joyous abandon.” Giuliani, who will be in Rhinebeck Saturday for a book signing and tasting event, recently took time to answer questions about her first book and her method for creating all-star events that anyone can put together.
Why did you decide to put together “The Cocktail Party” at this stage in your career?
I always wanted to be a writer. I studied English and theater at Georgetown University, so storytelling has always been something I wanted to do. I felt it was time to pass along some really helpful entertaining shortcuts, tried-and-true party recipes and share my stories about how dreams can come true … even the ones you didn’t know you wished for.