Anyone in the world can stop by Mariano Trivelin’s Edmonton kitchen for a lesson in Italian cooking.
The 86-year-old Edmonton senior hosts the online show “Mariano’s Cooking,” which draws up to 250,000 views in a single episode.
Though his videos are popular, the home-cook said he doesn’t feel any heat from having a big following online.
“I just love to cook. That’s it. Any occasion is a good one,” said Trivelin. “People watch my videos, they say I’m OK, so why stop?”
The channel has 23 cooking videos so far, including gnocchi, lasagna and homemade pesto. The first episode was shot in May 2019.
Filming happens every two weeks, and typically takes up an afternoon. For the family, the quality time spent together is half the fun of making the videos.
“We usually have lunch, then we cook and hang out,” said Trivellin. “It’s very relaxed. From Mariano’s perspective, it’s just his grandson coming over for lunch.”
His grandsons, as well as his wife, Rita, often appear in videos to sample the food.
“Sometimes Mariano is cooking something…and you just can’t help but go in for a taste test,” laughed Trivellin. “It’s really special to get to do something like that with my grandfather and have so many people enjoy it as well.”
“Mariano’s Cooking” was created to promote the fourth-generation family business, Capital Fine Meats. Komarnicki, who works as the general manager, said they had hoped to do a cooking series of some kind, but felt they needed to include some personality.
“Alexander came into the office one day and said, ‘Why don’t we try filming nonno?'” Komarnicki said. “It was a natural fit and it took off. People loved it.”
Trivelin describes his cooking style as “nothing fancy,” but he’s happy so many people have enjoyed the show.
“I know it’s good food. People watch my video and they say I’m okay, so why quit? I’ll keep going ’til I can’t do it.”
Trivelin said he gained cooking skills over the years, including working with CN Rail as a cook for a few seasons.
“I got a lot of experience there. I learned quite a bit. I also learned cooking for myself when I was single, before I got married. Then I cooked for my family and now I cook for everyone!”
Food Network Canada celebrity chef Massimo Capra had a special message to share with the Edmonton cook.
“It’s so beautiful to see his energy. It’s just great,” Capra said. “I miss coming to Edmonton, I haven’t been there in a couple years. Next time I am there, I’d love to come and meet Mariano.”
Internet fame aside, Trivelin said he’s got the perfect recipe for a happy life.
“I’ve got my garden, I’m making wine, fixing things around the house,” said Trivelin. “I’m happy. You know why I’m happy? I’ve got a good family. That’s what is important to me.”
The family is selling “Mariano’s Cooking” aprons and hats, with proceeds going to the Capital Care Foundation.