Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Muniak.
Olivia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Career-wise I always felt like I was doing it all wrong. I started as a wardrobe and prop stylist straight out of art school in San Francisco, I moved back home to New York City to pursue a career in fashion. I ended working in fashion sales, then transitioned into more marketing roles and within a few years I was working for my family restaurant, Mangia in New York City. There, I rebranded the company launching a new website, packaging and social media platforms. Yet, my career didn’t feel “like me” I still had creative energy bursting at the seams, I thought to be successful I had to find my “one thing”.
I moved to LA in the spring of 2017 and continued my search for creatively rich work, mostly in brand marketing working with some incredible companies and entrepreneurs on both coasts. I began working with Moet Hennessy producing events and my eyes were opened to a world of wine & spirits and the industry behind it. It was different than the restaurant world that I knew of from my family and I saw an entry point to a career that married my skills and passion. Yet, cooking and entertaining were still just a pastime, the remedy after a busy week, and a way to catch up with a group of friends – uninterrupted for an evening.
Over the past year, the dinner parties I began hosting became more elaborate gatherings. I was designing get togethers that went beyond the food and table settings, with color palettes and flowers. I wanted to bring people together in a genuine way, there is a term: ‘sobremesa’ that is used in spanish speaking countries, it describes this hour where guests linger and relax over the dinner table. Food has always been the greatest unifier in my life, it’s always been the exact moment, the sobremesa, that I am trying to capture with my friends and family when I invite them over. There was one gathering this past summer, while eating stuffed squash blossoms and spaghetti vongole; mid-bite, mid-sentence it dawned on me that creating that meal was the most inspired I had been all week. Within a month, I launched the website, built my team and hosted the first La Cura Supper Club.
I now host the supper clubs regularly and work with Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, as their California Brand Ambassador.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think my biggest hurdle in life and in my career was comparing myself to others. It’s always easy to look at those you admire in life –business and personal, and make the assumption that they got there easily and without a lot of personal growth or hardship. I often grappled with the idea that I had to have it all figured it out already, that my friends had their careers and I was still in a process of trial-and-error. But it wasn’t until I embraced my love of cooking and hosting, that I found the missing piece to my creative puzzle. All of my work came into this perfect harmony where everything I had done to this point became clear.
La Cura – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The literal translation of La Cura from Italian is “the cure”. I was raised in a restaurant family in New York City, quite simply, my philosophy is that time spent at the table can solve almost anything. Food is our greatest unifier, something we can all relate to no matter our backgrounds, passions or palettes.
It is a regular supper club, gathering at private homes around the Los Angeles area. Each event is a form of visual expression, a place to transform ordinary life into a feast for the eyes. Supper is served family-style, each menu unique and seasonal. We join forces with like-minded taste-makers, acclaimed chefs, and entrepreneurs to provide a glimpse into their creative process and break bread together. If you are interested in collaborating, send us an email, we are keen to build a community of contributors!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Selling out our first event, I had a goal of selling 20 seats, and we sold 32! I had tried entering the restaurant industry in so many different ways, I had also tried to not enter, to have a career outside my family business, I realized that through food, my entire life came into focus.
I also recently learned that three guests, all who had not originally bought a ticket, and came in place of others who could not make it, have teamed up and are now working together! That was another huge moment for me where I could feel the impact of creating a vehicle for people’s lives to collide, and an opportunity for something be born out of that connection.
- Tickets range from $85-$150
- Website: https://www.lacuraevents.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @oliviamuniak & @lacuraevents
Ashley Barret Photography