For those who aren’t familiar with the video series “Aries Kitchen,” let me break it down for you. “Aries Kitchen” is a hub for chaos and creativity, with host Julien Solomita whipping up crazy culinary concoctions with varying levels of success for online audiences. While the menu may change, Solomita always ensures one unifying key ingredient per dish—the lovable lawlessness that keeps viewership high week after week. “I’m a living example that you don’t have to be great at something for people to want to watch you doing it,” Solomita says. “I’m a minor league chef and I’m totally OK with that.”

Photo by Troy Conrad

Photo by Troy Conrad

Long before collecting millions of subscribers and appearing on YouTube’s coveted trending page, Solomita was a college student working for a radio station and studying TV production. Then, he crossed paths with one of YouTube’s most successful creators and the trajectory of his life took a drastic turn. “My introduction to YouTube was entirely through meeting my girlfriend Jenna [Marbles],” Solomita says. “She was super established online when we met and I knew basically nothing about the internet.” Marbles encouraged Solomita to change his perspective on media, with Solomita realizing that he could transition the skills he’d built working at a radio station and in his major into the YouTube sphere.

Photo by Troy Conrad

Photo by Troy Conrad

“I started out making vlogs because I found that specific method of storytelling exciting. I was able to share my life while simultaneously crafting small diary entries into video form,” Solomita says. “Now I primarily make cooking and food content, which I never saw myself doing, but I’m completely fine having ended up here.” After fabricating a “giant Aries cookie,” Solomita realized there was a market for his brand of unorthodox cooking, and fans ate up every morsel of his disorganized kitchen adventures.

Along the way, Solomita’s “Aries Kitchen” became a vessel for creating dishes both familiar and unusual—with Solomita cooking chicken sandwiches one week and a Minecraft lava cake the next. But, Solomita thrives in the unexpected and is here to prove that this is not your mother’s cooking show. “I just want people to feel empowered to cook things that might be a little unfamiliar,” Solomita shares. “Most of my videos revolve around the idea that I’m trying to create something I’ve never eaten or made at home, so it really ends up being more about the journey to the food than the food itself.”

Photo by Troy Conrad

Photo by Troy Conrad

Not only has cooking become a big part of Solomita’s channel, his passion has migrated to his tattoos. Before establishing “Aries Kitchen” as his primary focus on YouTube, Solomita permanently marked himself as a chef. “This was a tattoo I got for my birthday last year,” Solomita says, gesturing to the fine-line black-and-grey piece by Louie Perez on his forearm. “It’s a lineup of the tools I use most in the kitchen.” So, despite playing in the minor leagues of the culinary world and creating plenty of culinary catastrophes, Solomita is bound to the myriad of chefs who wear their heart on their tattooed sleeves and aren’t afraid to bring some chaos to the kitchen.