Edmonton senior hosts online cooking show with grandsons

An Edmonton senior with a big personality has been hosting an Italian cooking show on YouTube and Facebook, which is produced by his grandsons.

Revenue and merchandise sales from the show is being donated to a seniors foundation

86-year-old Edmonton man hosts YouTube cooking show

3 years ago
Duration 2:05
An Edmonton senior with a passion for cooking hosts an Italian cooking show on YouTube. He's teamed up with his grandsons who produce the show.

Along the walls of Mariano Trivelin's kitchen hangs decorative fruit and plates — this is where the 86-year-old Edmonton man hosts a cooking show on Facebook and YouTube.

It's called Mariano's Cooking, where Trivelin cooks homemade Italian dishes and adds a dash of his endearing personality and humour. Some of the 22 episodes have accumulated close to 250,000 views on Facebook.

It was easy to convince him to do the show as he's been cooking Italian dishes for more than 50 years. But he wasn't sure people would want to tune in online to watch him cook meals in his home, which doesn't have an internet connection.

"I was kind of worried because there's a lot of people going to see it these days, but they said you're doing good. The food looks good," said Trivelin.

His episodes explore dishes like gnocchi, ratatouille, osso bucco, pesto, spaghetti and Italian wedding soup.

"I [didn't] do five years at NAIT. I just cook at home for my family. I'm not a chef from a fancy restaurant," Trivelin said.

Stephen Komarnicki, Mariano Trivelin, Rita Trivelin, and Alexander Trivellin pose in the kitchen where Mariano's Kitchen is recorded. (Note: Alexander's name is spelled differently from his grandparents' name.) (Travis McEwan/CBC)

The show is a family affair. His wife Rita drops in on a few episodes to taste the dishes. His grandsons handle the production. Stephen Komarnicki's company Capital Fine Meats sponsors the show while he takes part as a producer.

"He's the best cook that I know, but he also has an excellent, charismatic personality and everybody that knows Mariano loves him, so it was a pretty easy choice," Komarnicki said.

Alexander Trivellin, also a grandson, shoots and edits the episodes every couple of weeks. (Note: Alexander's name is spelled differently from his grandparents' name.)

"We'll maybe give a suggestion for the food but everything else like the ingredients, for the most part we give a couple tips here and there but he really just runs with it," Alexander Trivellin said.

Two things have Mariano interested in his show: spending time with his grandsons and his passion for cooking.

"I like to cook. If you don't like [to] cook, forget about it," he said.

As the show has grown in popularity, viewers have asked for merchandise like the aprons and hats Mariano wears on the show, which will soon be available.

Money raised from sales, along with advertising revenue will be donated to the Capital Care Foundation. It runs care facilities and day programs for local seniors.


Travis McEwan

Video journalist

Travis McEwan is a video journalist who covers stories ranging from human interest and sports to municipal and provincial issues. Originally from Churchill, Man., Travis has spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton reporting for web, radio and television. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca.