Mary Giuliani's Small Bites, Big Stories: Soiree to Honor the Summer Games
July 31, 2012 | At Home
Ahh…another Olympic summer has arrived! Those five colored circles, country pride, Wheaties commercials (do they still make Wheaties anymore?), and memories of Olympic dreams past come to mind. Whether it was swimming, gymnastics, or running, who didn’t dream of taking home the gold?
My Olympic dream started in 1984 when I became obsessed with Mary Lou Retton and her “perfect 10” vault. I decided at the age of nine that I needed two things in my life: a gold medal and a hug from Béla Károlyi. I convinced my best friend Lauren Balkin to take Saturday gymnastics with me, cut my hair like Mary Lou (wasn’t hard…as I already had a Ralph Macchio ‘do going on), and told my parents that I needed to turn our basement into a gym because “I had to get to work.”
Come Fridays, I began my vigorous regiment in my basement with Lauren. Couch cushions on the floor to comfort our falls, Romanian music blaring as we pretended to be Little Olympians flipping, leaping, jumping, and always throwing our hand up at the end to the invisible judges.
Here’s the catch….we STUNK. Neither of us could barely do a cartwheel but with Waiting for Guffman-like determination, I truly believed that she and I would be standing side by side like Nadia Comăneci and Mary Lou.
After our intensive Olympic training workouts (about 45 minutes running around my basement) we would run upstairs and make food. This was the only part of training where we excelled. English muffin pizza in the toaster and Crystal Light iced tea: lunch of champions.
This was the build-up to Saturdays spent at gymnastics class. My mother loves to tell the story about when she picked us up after our very FIRST class and I burst into tears. When she asked what was wrong, I tearfully responded, “I’m just going to miss you and Daddy so much when I have to go to the Olympics.”
A grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate milkshake (another lunch of champions) would wash away my tears.
And while Lauren and I never saw that Olympic Gold, we did cultivate a fond appreciation for comfort foods. So, this Olympic party will salute the failed Olympian in all of us!
As my mother told us in that booth at Friendly’s: it doesn’t matter if you get there; it matters that you wanted to go in the first place. For this, I salute you all with a mini pizza and a few grilled cheeses…one hand held high!
Mary and her husband Ryan launched marygiuliani.com in 2005, based on their shared love of entertaining, food, and hospitality. The figurehead of the company, Mary creates parties and mingles with the absolute crème de la crème of the Hollywood and fashion scenes. Her clients look to her to break the traditions of entertaining norms and to provide them with party ideas that are one of a kind, out of the box, playful experiences.
Her schedule is jam packed from morning to night when she’s on the party circuit. Mary is the exclusive caterer for J. CREW, Madewell, and Christie’s. Her client roster includes: The Rolling Stones, Bradley Cooper, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Portman, Sephora, Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc., Stella McCartney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, and many more. In 2011, Mary executed 27 events in one evening across Manhattan for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night out and her company produces over 600 events a year. Biz Bash also honored her as “Caterer of the Year” in 2011. Follow Mary on Twitter: @mary_giuliani