Are you looking to make some truly delicious meals at home, but want to learn from a video series packed with as much personality as it is flavor? If that describes you, then, you need to check out Chef Pasquale Sciarappa and his OrsaraRecipes YouTube channel. Since 2008, Chef Sciarappa has been making videos showcasing many traditional Italian dishes. That’s not to say he’s a one-trick-pony, though, as his channel has delved into recipes from many different cultures.

Over time, OrsaraRecipes has grown in technical ability, from their first video on making linguine with broccoli to the highly polished videos they’re making today. Sciarappa has also picked up his video-posting pace, publishing multiple videos a month. (Sometimes more than one a week!) As of July 11, 2019, he’s racked up over 370 videos, over 17.5 million total views, and over 160,000 subscribers! Not too bad for a retiree from a little town in Southern Italy.

Pasquale Sciarappa’s Background

Pasquale Sciarappa was born in the town of Orsara di Puglia in the Apulia region of Italy in 1939. With a population of just over 2,700, the town gives its name to Sciarappa’s channel. He began his culinary career in Torino in 1957 before eventually moving to the United States. He now resides in Long Branch, NJ.

After retiring, Sciarappa wanted to share his love of cooking with the world, which led him to start OrsaraRecipes. What began as a passion project has now branched out into a full-fledged second career, complete with websites, media appearances, and merchandise. Despite it all, Sciarappa hasn’t lost his signature zest, which is perhaps the channel’s greatest draw. Come for the recipes, stay for Pasquale.

Going Viral

It’s funny which videos take off and which ones don’t. In November 2014, OrsaraRecipes shared a blooper video of Sciarappa trying to pronounce Worcestershire sauce. It was an instant viral success, and to date, has had over 2,250,000 views. In just over a minute, Pasquale tries repeatedly to say Worcestershire Sauce, and there’s hilarious results. Eventually, he gives up and pronounces it “in Italian.” To be fair, even we struggle with Worcestershireshire sauce from time to time!

This viral success was his big break, leading to interviews with outlets like the Daily Mail and appearances on shows like the Rachael Ray Show. Since then, he’s also been featured on Medium and the Cooking Channel, and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, not once, but twice! In both Dr. Oz appearance, he brings the house down with a little dancing.

The Average OrsaraRecipes Video

The average OrsaraRecipes video is between eight and 14 minutes long and begins with an intro, complete with a close-up of the finished dish. It always looks absolutely delicious. Before long, the videos dive right into doing what Pasquale does best — cooking. Before giving out full instructions, the videos show a sped-up version of the dish being made, so you can see the steps before they’re explained to you. This approach allows you to see how each step blends together and leads into the next. It also has the added benefit of helping you keep the instructions straight, since you’ve already seen them once.

Sciarappa then breaks down the ingredients and begins to explain how to make the dish. Where these Sciarappa’s videos differ from another YouTube chef we’ve covered, Grandpa Kitchen, is how they show the food being made. Both are very simple, without an excessive amount of editing or graphics. Grandpa Kitchen’s videos focus more on the spectacle and scale of the dishes, since he’s making a massive amount of food to be shared with local orphans. Sciarappa’s videos, on the other hand, are meant to teach the viewer how to make the dish. This means he takes his time explaining things and showing the how and why of each step. Sciarappa does this in his own distinct style.

Other Types of Videos from Pasquale

Cooking videos aren’t the only type of videos OrsaraRecipes publishes. In fact, the channel’s almost 400 videos feature a wide variety of videos. One video is of Pasquale recounting stories from his childhood in Italy, including the story of Mount Vesuvius’ 1944 eruption and his memories from World War II.

Occasionally, OrsaraRecipes will also publish series of videos. For example, one series was of Pasquale returning to Orsara di Puglia, showing you around the town he grew up in. Throughout five episodes, you’ll see Orsara di Puglia through the eyes of someone intimately familiar with a region, an experience often missed by tourists. Another of Pasquale’s series that may be of interest to regular readers of Medicareful Living discusses preparing, planting, and maintaining a vegetable garden.

How Can I Support Pasquale?

If you enjoy Pasquale and his videos, you can support him in a variety of ways. First and foremost, you can subscribe to OrsaraRecipes on YouTube. You can also check out his website, OrsaraRecipes.net, which as written out version of his recipes. If you have social media, don’t forget to follow Sciarappa on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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What we love most about OrsaraRecipes’ videos is the joy for life and cooking that is encapsulated in each video. It doesn’t hurt that, by watching Sciarappa, you’ll learn how to make some outstanding dishes!

Further Reading

Medicareful Living — Senior Profiles: Dick Lewis, Inventor and Oddball Salesman
Medicareful Living — Who is Dickie Borthwick: Senior Soccer Star?
Medicareful Living — Who is Grandpa Kitchen, Senior YouTube Star?