7:00am PT by Stacy Suaya
How to Throw an On-Theme and Elegant 'Game of Thrones' Viewing Party
Hollywood caterer Mary Giuliani is known for her playful presentations, such as galaxy-themed doughnuts for Captain Marvel's New York premiere. "Every menu is well thought out and creative, every morsel is artfully prepared," says Andrew Saffir, Cinema Society founder, of Giuliani. The event caterer for Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, HBO and the Tribeca Film Festival released her memoir, titled Tiny Hot Dogs, on April 9, so THR reached out for Game of Thrones viewing-party tips in time for the show's April 14 premiere. Giuliani gave suggestions that follow her patented format: Eat, Drink, Play, Recover.
"Wooden boards are perfect for your Game of Thrones feast," says Giuliani. "Arrange them down the center of your table like a runner and fill them with chicken wings and legs," a nod to The Hound, who rode off on a horse with Arya Stark while gnawing on a chicken leg. In honor of Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister and is a well-known vegan, Giuliani recommends offering veggie pot pies or cauliflower steaks. Include a deviled-egg bar with three fiery toppings (red pepper, paprika and jalapeno) to pay homage to Daenerys' three dragons.
“Another great idea is to invite your guests for a Game of Thrones potluck,” Giuliani says. “Assign your guest a 'house' and they have to come up with dishes that best represent that family.” For example, the Tyrells of Highgarden could feature the lemon cakes that Sansa once refused to eat while there, surrounded by edible flowers in reference to the (now deceased) house's lush gardens.
"I love a punch bowl because I hate playing bartender all night," says Giuliani. Blood oranges, symbolic of carnage and Dorne's hot climate, work as a base ingredient. "Arrange the bowl in the center of your table and let your guests drink from it." Use 3 bottles of cranberry juice; 1 gallon of orange juice (or freeze into ice cubes); 2 bottles of blood orange soda; 1 bottle of vodka or tequila; 1 cup of black cherries; 1 cup of sliced blood oranges. Garnish with edible gold and silver flecks (at craft stores and Amazon). Serve over ice.
To set a winning Game of Thrones table, Giuliani suggests using lots of levels, filled with taper candles and candelabras. Try mixing metal, furs, wood and mounted animal heads (real or fake) and scatter dried herbs. “The Wall is the frozen, northernmost point of the land, that until the end of last season separated the living from the White Walkers,” says Giuliani. “So you could create a physical wall down the middle of the table with one side being greenery, edible flowers, wood, lush and the other side being stark, white and cold in decorations, plates and glassware.”
Offer an activity during commercial breaks. Between takes while filming Game of Thrones, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) has a philosophy club with Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), so you might make a stack of cards with questions that relate to the show, such as those in the book Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords. An example: “How far should you go to protect your family and its secrets?”
Says Rachael Ray of Giuliani: “Her name attached to an event, a book, a menu, or a meal, is a golden ticket to good times.” Since those good times can sometimes lead to headaches the next day, Giuliani suggests sending departing guests home with an elixir plan. “Send your guests home with all the makings for a delicious hangover elixir or potion,” she says. “I love filling a bag with fresh berries, one banana, individual almond milk and almond butter packets, and a scoop of oatmeal. All they have to do is throw everything in the blender the next morning and they are all set.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.