Recipes from yesteryear a No 1 hit for Bermudian Dylan Hollis
Bermuda’s own Dylan Hollis is still in a disbelief after his experiments in recipes bygone took the internet by storm and soared to the top of The New YorkTimes nonfiction charts.
“I’m still pinching myself,” the 27-year-old told The Royal Gazette ahead of his appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America show on Friday. “I feel like I have stolen someone else’s job.”
Mr Hollis’s first appearance in print was in the Gazette as a young achiever for his love of jazz and skill in rendering old-time music.
A young piano maestro, he studied music and set out for a career in the industry, quickly garnering fans.
But social media won out, with the video-sharing service TikTok elevating him to star status for his short and quirky videos about Bermuda.
Mr Hollis turned next to experiments in another old-time indulgence: baking recipes, often obscure, from antique times, which resulted in the book Baking Yesteryear, published by DK.
The book, which explores baking ideas both delicious and terrible from the 20th century, proved a bestselling hit.
“I’ve always been a lover of yesteryear,” Mr Hollis said. “I’m fascinated by those old times, and I’ve always collected old things — music and records and books.”
He dabbled in old cookbooks and shared his discoveries on TikTok. Mr Hollis’s droll speaking style and natural enthusiasm exploded in popularity.
“Somehow I found a niche,” he said. “Now I try to read an old cookbook a night. I find those old recipes and put them to the test.”
Chocolate potato cake was one of them, and it brought modern audiences back again and again for more.
Mr Hollis, who now lives in Manhattan, spoke with the Gazette just after returning from filming the creation of a vintage salad in a studio in New York.
He shared that his parents were confused but overjoyed at his success, after financing his musical studies only for him to hit stardom with baking.
“If I can’t believe it, I can only imagine what they think,” Mr Hollis said.
“First and foremost, they’re very confused as to how this came about so quickly. They sent me to piano lessons, and I graduated with a music degree. With this, they’re ecstatic and thrilled.”
Mr Hollis, who looks forward to returning to Bermuda at the end of this year, added that he was delighted to showcase the island.
“Oh, of course,” he said. “Bermuda is in the first paragraph of the book. Any chance I get.”
Another project is in the works, but Mr Hollis said he was under heavy manners from his publisher not to divulge details.
“It’s nothing I can talk about,” he said. “It’s just such a great privilege.”
As it has been with his parents, he said it had been “a mixture of joy and disbelief”.