Stefano Zarrella and his mom: cooking together for a good cause

Stefano Zarrella (33) is one of the most successful food bloggers in Germany, but at Christmas his mom runs the kitchen, he laughs at a charity event in Cologne.

Stefano Zarrella and his mom: cooking together for a good cause

Stefano Zarrella (33) is one of the most successful food bloggers in Germany, but at Christmas his mom runs the kitchen, he laughs at a charity event in Cologne. At the invitation of Lieferando, Giovanni Zarrella's younger brother (45) and his mother Clementina conjured up a Christmas menu for "Die Arche". For the third year in a row, the delivery service is supporting the children's and youth organization during the Christmas season.

"To give it even more love and meaning, I invited my mom to cook with me. She's the reason why I discovered my passion for cooking," enthuses the 33-year-old and chats about the interesting Christmas traditions in the extended family, which have established themselves over the years thanks to the Italian roots of the Zarrellas and the Brazilian influences of Jana Ina Zarrella (47).

Stefano Zarrella: Yes, it is definitely a passion project for me. To add even more love and meaning to it, I invited my mom to cook with me. She is the reason why I discovered my passion for cooking. Through her I learned how much joy cooking can give. When I received the request, I accepted without hesitation. There is nothing better than passing on this joy. Working with Arche and Lieferando to offer the children something special is a wonderful opportunity to do good while sharing my love of cooking.

Zarrella: The Christmas menu that I prepare for the children revolves around a very special dish: white Bolognese. This twist on Bolognese is a creative twist on a classic. In Germany, most people immediately think of spaghetti Bolognese when it comes to pasta. With the white Bolognese we want to offer the children something that creates an 'aha effect'. This recipe has been the most popular dish at my parents' restaurant in the past. It combines the familiarity of classic Bolognese with a surprising twist, making it an exciting one for our Christmas menu.

Zarrella: I grew up in an environment where passionate cooking played a central role in family life. This love and dedication to cooking was practically born into me. By the way, the name of my cookbook “Incredibly Delicious” came about quite naturally. I often say "Incredibly delicious" at the end of my cooking videos on Instagram, and this phrase has become something of a trademark. It reflects the excitement and joy I feel when cooking and sharing my creations.

Zarrella: My special dish that I particularly enjoy cooking is a low-carb, high-protein dish: rolled zucchini. To do this, I place zucchini slices on a baking tray, mix eggs, salt, pepper and a dash of milk and distribute this mixture over the zucchini. Then I top them with either vegetables or minced meat, roll them up and bake them with mozzarella. This dish is one of my most popular videos and recipes. In general, I really enjoy cooking pasta recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. Pasta dishes are particularly popular in Germany. (laughs)

Zarrella: Mom also rules in the kitchen at Christmas. I sit back and enjoy the great food. (laughs)

Zarrella: This year we are spending Christmas together as a family. Traditionally, my mother does the cooking and spoils us all with her culinary delicacies. I always try to support where I can and may - of course always under her attentive guidance (laughs). Last year was particularly entertaining for us as I cooked the feast and ventured into filleting a whole salmon. I had bought a whole salmon and it was a fun experience getting instructions from my mother on how to fillet it properly. These shared moments in the kitchen are not only educational, but also a wonderful and fun time with the family.

Zarrella: Interesting Christmas traditions have developed in our family thanks to the Italian roots and the Brazilian influences of my sister-in-law Jana Ina. Jana Ina often enriches our banquet with her culinary specialties. In Brazil it is customary to eat turkey, rice and beans at Christmas and she sometimes brings these dishes to our celebrations. A special highlight is the coconut cake she bakes - I love it! This cultural diversity makes our Christmas celebrations unique and particularly delicious. It is a beautiful mix of traditions that enriches our Christmas table and makes the holidays a very special experience for all of us.

Zarrella: The year 2023 was another year for me in which I had the privilege of making my dreams come true. I am especially grateful for the growth of my community and my family. With each passing day I feel a closer connection to both. This development gives me a lot of strength and motivation. I am very grateful for everything that has happened this year and hope that this positive trend continues and that many more cool and exciting projects will emerge in the future. It is a feeling of deep gratitude and anticipation for what may come.

Zarrella: My main wish for 2024 is to stay healthy. I also hope to continue to have the opportunity to create beautiful projects and share my passion for what I do with many people.