Owner/Founder, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Author, party/lifestyle expert and founder and CEO of MGCE, Mary’s “simple yet special” approach to entertaining has earned her the well-deserved moniker, “Caterer To The Stars” for the past 15+ years.
From the very inception of the company in 2005, Mary has created parties for the crème de la crème of the art, fashion and entertainment sets. Her clients look to her and her team to break traditional entertaining norms and instead bring to life party ideas that are one-of-a-kind, outside-the box, playful experiences for host and guests alike. Quick to remind all that she is neither a chef nor a humorless foodie, Mary draws her inspiration for entertaining, cuisine and hospitality from her namesake grandmothers, each very different personalities but both pivotal in Mary's life and the development of her signature style.
“Mary and Lucille were my beloved grandmothers, as different as can be from each other. Mary was a traditional housewife, an amazing cook, homemaker, and mother who put family first. Lucille was an ultra-contemporary woman for her times, a maverick entrepreneur and risk-taker with a dynamic business savvy who owned and ran several successful hotels. I consider myself a delicious mixed cocktail of these two extraordinary women. I am proud to be a modern working girl with deep-rooted entertaining traditions.”
MGCE Founders & Owners
Owner, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
In 2005 Ryan Giuliani with his wife Mary founded Mary Giuliani Catering & Events. A gifted creative producer, Ryan began his career in photography production working with some of the most prominent names in photography including Steven Meisel and Michael Thompson. Ryan spearheaded the production of one of Richard Avedons final projects for The New Yorker magazine in 1999. From 1999-2005 Ryan shifted gears to pursue a career in commercial real estate, working for Olmstead Properties where he was responsible for leasing over 500,000 square feet of Manhattan commercial real estate. It was this diverse background that helped him lay the successful foundation and infrastructure for MGCE. Under his leadership, he helped grow MGCE into one of the finest and most respected catering and event companies in New York City.
In 2014 Ryan's passion and desire for growth and development of the Hudson Valley region, led him to the purchase and development of a hotel property and restaurant in the center of the historic town of Woodstock, New York. He remains actively involved in both the preservation and growth of the Hudson Valley region. He resides in New York's Chelsea area and in Woodstock, New York with Mary.
President/Partner, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
As a President/Partner of Mary Giuliani Catering & Events, Michele Pokowicz uniquely pairs her keen sense of taste, design and culture with an ability to deliver seamless event production and customized catered experiences. Presiding and managing over 600 events a year with the MGCE team, she is a very well respected industry veteran. From producing large-scale corporate events for Travel + Leisure, Bon Appetit, Commerzbank Nissan North America, and Vogue Magazine; to creating intimate dinners for clients, family and friends, her dedication to preparedness never leaves a detail unattended and her clients always know the event will go as planned. Michele was named 2012 Bizbash Caterer of the Year.
Senior Vice President/Partner, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Ryan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he was always a fan of entertaining and outdoor activities. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Business Administration, Ryan worked in the financial industry before deciding to shake things up and move to New York City in 2006.
Outside of work Ryan can be found traveling the globe exploring culinary arts, sky diving, snow skiing and scuba diving. Ryan’s love to entertain landed him the position with Mary Giuliani in 2006. His attention to detail, strong organizational skills and solution oriented mind set makes him perfect for event planning.
VP of Sales, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Ilana Schackman has been of member of the MGCE team for over six years. She attended Boston University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Administration. Upon graduation she moved to NYC to pursue her Event Planning career. With over fifteen years of experience in the industry, her extensive knowledge allows her to anticipate clients’ needs and execute events seamlessly from the initial inquiry to the final product. A detail-oriented Virgo, she considers every element of each event - whether an intimate dinner party or large-scale reception – resulting in flawless, special experiences. An avid foodie, Ilana loves trying new restaurants, which inspires fresh menu and décor ideas. Representing the “Jersey Branch,” you can find Ilana spending time with her family, running around town or searching for the next best burger (though her fave will always be Shake Shack).
Ilana has produced events for Macy’s, Bonpoint, Safilo, imagine entertainment, NBCUniversal, Douglas Elliman, New York Times, New York Magazine, Viacom, audible, Discovery, Mosaic, Men’s Journal and PJCP.
Director of Production, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Having worked in the catering and hospitality industry for over 15 years, Christopher brings a wide range of experience to the MGCE team. Originally from Indiana, he graduated from Otterbein University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Throughout his tenure in New York City, Christopher has been involved in coordinating events ranging from grand, corporate sit-down dinners to small, intimate gatherings.
Christopher has produced events for New York Magazine, Stella McCartney, HBO, Diane Von Furstenburg, J.crew, New York Times, Nordstrom, Snapchat, Douglas Elliman, Bon Appetit and Infiniti.
Event Producer, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Jr. Event Producer, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
She carries her professional ethic into her personal life as she loves to travel and try new foods from all different cultures, as well as host gatherings for her family and friends.
She knew early on that she would love to build a career in the world of event planning and is up for any challenge. Her favorite part is seeing a client’s vision come to life and experiencing the happiness that brings to everyone.
Staffing Manager & Jr Event Producer, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Maggie graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in Cinema and Media Studies as well as two national championships for women’s lacrosse. Upon graduating, she has gained several years of experience in television, business development, and marketing. Her previous roles as a production assistant and marketing coordinator at HBO have readily prepared her for the dynamic, fast paced world of catering and events. As a detailed planner and creative thinker, Maggie helps to keep our staff organized and prepared for all events.
Maggie grew up in Rye, NY but now resides in the West Village of New York City. She can often be found wandering the city to explore new neighborhoods, eat out, take pictures, and just simply get lost.
Creative Coordinator, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Emily Racaniello’s years of experience in television, advertising, event design and catering, has all shaped her career to bring something new to the table in her creative role at MGCE. From years of living both on Long Island and in Brooklyn, her love of food and entertaining has shaped not only her years as a producer, but also her personal life. Trying new foods and restaurants in NYC and while traveling the world, has been a fun passion for her for many years. She even eloped in Italy so her and her husband could have a honeymoon tasting their way through Southern to Northern Italy. Emily began her career at the “Rachael Ray” Show as both the Researcher and on Producing Teams, which began her love for combining food with creativity. Later in her career, she developed her drive for experiential event design and catering at both Tinsel Experiential Design and Pinch Food Design, and now has been producing and designing for events both large and small.
Emily has produced and designed events for Spotify, Etsy, 72andSunny, IPSoft, the New York Times, Pratt Institute, Levi’s, Public Prep, Google, Sequin Productions, Weddings and other Social Events.
Producer, Special Projects, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Carri brings over 20 years of events production experience to the table, spanning both the corporate and non-profit worlds. With experience as the vendor, venue and client, she brings a unique and diversified perspective to event production. She has been so lucky to have had the opportunity to work in amazing locations around the globe, having produced events throughout North America, South America and Europe. Her expertise includes award-winning investment conferences, high-end VIP dinners, luxury destination trips, incentive programs, and teambuilding. Prior to joining MGCE, Carri began her own boutique event consulting business, A Closer Look Events, along with full-time event management positions with Commerzbank AG, the New York Stock Exchange, Dress for Success Worldwide, and Match Catering and Eventstyles, all in New York City. Her events career began in Washington DC, managing events for a number of organizations from Planned Parenthood and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to PGI/TBA Global Destination Services.
Finance Manager, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
As Finance Manager, Chris Cadenelli oversees bookkeeping and accounting operations for MGCE. Raised in the not-so-mean streets of suburban NJ, Chris graduated with a degree in business administration from The College of New Jersey before making the move to NYC. When not working, Chris enjoys spending time at home with his girlfriend and 2 cats in their Ridgewood, Queens apartment.
CHEF MICHAEL FIORE
Executive Chef, Mary Giuliani Catering & Events
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Fiore began working in restaurants at the age of 16. Growing up in an Italian-American family, food often took centerstage at family gatherings and Michael always had fond memories of enjoying great food with family and friends.
Michael studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. After graduating, he continued his culinary journey by training in some of NYC’s top restaurants with chefs such as David Burke & Lidia Bastianich. Michael also trained at the renowned La Gavroche in London, England.
In 2004, he became the chef & partner of both Tempo Restaurant & Tempo Presto located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he took a modern approach to Mediterranean Cuisine. Tempo was voted top new restaurant of New York City by Zagat & received stellar reviews on social media articles and national publications including the NY Times. Michael also appeared on The Today Show cooking up some of his signature dishes with Matt Lauer, including his famed Bucatini with Sicilian Pistachio Pesto that won “Critics Pick” award 2005, by Timeout NY.
From 2008 – 2009 Michael worked as the Corporate Chef for Mascott Company, in Ramsey NJ. He Managed a culinary team that operated 17 Quick service operations (Seattles Best, Cinnabon, Popeyes Chicken, Smashburger and a high volume American Restaurant in the Harborside Financial Center, Jersey City. High Volume takeaway kiosk grossing $7k in daily sales for breakfast and lunch services.
In 2010, Michael found a new outlet to showcase his culinary expertise by focusing his attention on event catering. Landing a chefs position in one for RCano Events. It gave him the ability to showcase other types of cuisine in his repertoire from different cultures around the world, which had always been something he always wanted to pursue. In 2012 he joined the Mary Guiliani Catering and Events team as Executive Chef.
Michael has prepared food and managed labor for catered gatherings for up to 14,000 guests. During his career he has set up and operated multi unit fast casual operations including high volume take away cafe kiosks serving 1,000 customers per day breakfast and lunch. Featuring: Full line of grab and go, create your own salad bar, hot and cold pre made sandwiches, daily soups and hot lunch specials.
Chef Michael Fiore has had great success executing and working along such esteemed celebrity chefs; including but not limited to Paul Liebrandt, Marco Canora, Jose Garces, Marcus Samuelssohn, Alex Guarnaschelli, Mario Carbone, Marc Forgione and Alain DuCasse.