She has been away from the musical scene for a while now. She's back, but not just doing music. She's announced a new baking show.
Deeper singer Holly Rey is getting into the kitchen.
She will host Baking With The Reys with her outgoing younger sister, Mimi.
The show may be new to some but to her Instagram followers, it has been a long time coming.
While everyone was tapping into their hobbies and their greatest passions indoors during lockdown, the Reys weren’t left behind. They often would do lives on Instagram while doing what they love doing together and they've been having fun with it.
In an interview with Drum, Mimi says, “In our family you learn to bake before you can read, in fact baking is used to teach us to read. I'm not really sure who started teaching me because our kitchen is in the middle of the house and we are always there, but it was during lockdown that we started making baking videos.”
Holly had gone back home to Durban during lockdown because like many people, she didn’t want to be locked down alone at her place in Johannesburg. On the boring days, they would 'create magic'.
“We were baking nearly every day just to keep ourselves entertained and I was trying to do creative things with her.”
Eventually, they decided to “bake with people on Instagram and people would responded so well”.
From recording the bonding sessions on Holly’s cellphone to getting proper camera equipment, the vision expanded until they decided to take it to YouTube. Before they knew it, a distributor was intrigued and offered to help them approach the SABC with the idea.
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“Food is just like the heart of our home,” Holly admits as she shares that her family, particularly her grandmother, is the kind that’s always feeding everyone around.
In as much as the matriarch “[told] us stories about how when she was a kid, she would make like crunchies every Sunday for her family”, she made sure to raise Holly and Mimi the same way.
For them, baking is “like a family tradition that’s carried through [generations]” and now they will be sharing that with the whole country on their SABC 3 show.
As she takes Drum to the beginning of it all, Holly says, “I can't even tell you when it started [for me, but] whenever my grandma was baking something like on the weekends, I was always helping.”
Whether it would be measuring flour or stirring the mixture bowl, Holly would be eager to bring life to the baked goods she so loved having. The biggest reason for this though was so that she could lick the spoon afterwards.
“When Mimi was growing up, it was something me and her did a lot together [because] my gran is getting a bit older and so she couldn't bake as much with Mimi as she did with me so I kind of took over those reigns.”
This is why baking time means sister time for Mimi. Since she’s still living in Durban and Holly is in Johannesburg, their bonding happens behind the kitchen counter whenever they are together.
“Love, respect, kindness, fun and laughter” are the five words that Mimi uses to describe her relationship with her sister.
“Baking helps you learn so many things. You don't have to want to be a chef to bake, you can just bake for the family and it can be so much fun,” the nine-year-old says.
“Holly is actually the most fun person to bake with because she is strict and fun all in one.”
The big sister doesn’t consider herself strict though but rather “cautious”.
“The thing is that in the kitchen when you're dealing with equipment and ovens and all of that, then obviously with kids sometimes you do have to be like ‘no we don't do that’ and be strict for their own safety. So I'm definitely cool, I'm straight, I'm cautious in the kitchen because she's a naughty little chicken.”
In the show that is set to air every Tuesday from 4 April, the two sisters let their hair lose with Holly allowing the child in her to come out and be colourful. More than anything, one is bound to get a glimpse of what the Reys are all about.
“It's shot in our family kitchen. We dance in the kitchen, we give each other cuddles in the kitchen it's all about this like sisterly love and people get to see a little bit of our lifestyle at home, going to the garden walk with our dogs.”
The fun is captured in between the baking with a segment called ‘Mimi’s corner’ where the two will be blind tasting weird food, playing ‘what's in the box’ challenge, feeling different objects trying to guess what they are, which Holly thinks kids are going to love.
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The recipes chosen for the 10 episodes of the series are also linked to the family stories.
“One of the episodes is called Mom and Gogo’s favorite and it's our gran’s favorite recipes and that's the things our gran taught us to make.”
Other 30 minute-episodes are themed around kids’ play dates and various diets to cater for vegans, the lactose intolerant and especially diabetic people.
While Holly was intentional in using less sugar in these recipes because she has type one diabetes, Mimi was learning in the process how to bring out flavour without relying too much on sugar.
“I do a lot of work with type one diabetes education and I'm doing a lot of work with doctors at the moment and NGO's bringing awareness around type one diabetes and just health literacy as a whole, that's why making sure that the bakes weren't just sugar filled and unhealthy was very important for me.”
Although the first season hasn’t aired yet, the production company owned by the two sisters is already gearing up for a second season that’s bigger.
In addition to her diabetes awareness work, Holly is also working on album to be released by the end of this year and a single that will be release by end of April.
She will be back in the music scene with a tour around the country while she also works on a book focusing on making diabetes diets accessible to low-income households.
A ‘Baking with the Reys’ recipe book is also possibly in the pipeline.