omg i just watched this show called bakers or fakers. basically two professional bakers compete against hobbyist. though who's who is kept a secret till the end. they have challenges with certain ingredients or desserts. i can totally imagine bitty going on the show.
Also AU where Jack is a guest judge on the show and he knows he’s supposed to be there as the “Eye Candy Sports Star” and isn’t expected to actually know much about baking or about knowing who is the professional or the faker BUT the Falconers (for the first time since Jack was named captain) failed to make the playoffs (so. many. injuries. Jack himself was out for a huge chunk of the season and Tater pulled his hammy and it was– Not his fault. Jack knows that but STILL). The point is Jack had some extra time on his hands and so not only did he watch every episode of Bakers and Fakers to get used to the format, he also read tons of How To Bake books and he was going to start on the youtube channels but he’d run out of time. (Plus Jack prefers books, youtube videos can be a bit too loud for him. Especially with the weird background music some of them put on while things are baking.)
The point is: Jack goes to this taping Way Too Hyped and, honestly, putting a lot of the competitive spirit he reserves for hockey into Judging. Jack is going to get this: he is going to figure out who are the bakers and who are the fakers and… well actually there’s no scoring system per se but he is going to give specific feedback and win this thing anyhow.
Enter Eric Bittle.
Tiny. Blond. Friendly. Stunningly attractive. Freakishly fast at baking. Super nice to one of his fellow contestants who looks like a sweet old grandma. Super condescending and says things like “Oh, honey, that’s precious” to other fellow contestant who Jack thinks is a bit of a prick.
Jack decides right away that he must be a Faker. He is too young not to be. And he keeps cutting corners, not doing the things that Jack had read about and if there is one thing that Jack “knows” is that’s you Don’t Cut Corners in baking. So he is the faker.
He is also the best, but Jack is not to be deterred. Bittle gets through the first round no problem (Douchebag’s cupcakes were basic and dry so he goes and the other contestants seem happy about it.) and it’s onto the second round. For this round, all the contestants have to use maple syrup (in honor of Jack). Jack and the other judges bicker easily among themselves about who left is the Faker and who is the Baker and Jack tries over and over to get them to see that clearly Bittle is a faker. He has to be. There is no way he can use that much maple syrup without it coming out too sweet. He is making rookie mistakes. At one point, he added sirracha to his pie?? It didn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense. Jack is positive.
Then they get to the tasting and the other two contestants are good and Jack is pretty confident that Marsha is a professional because damn her maple crisp thing is delicious but–
But then he takes a bite of Bittle’s maple crusted pie and he… he sees stars honestly.
“I was wrong,” Jack Zimmerman admits out loud to a studio audience. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, the day is too long so there is no live audience). “He’s the real deal. He’s a baker for sure.”
The other judges agree. And because they have to give less money to real Bakers and thus always chose who they thing is a real Baker (and because Bittle was handsdown the best), Bittle wins the show.
And then comes the question: “Are you a baker or are you a faker?”
Marsha (as Jack suspected) is a Baker. That’s okay. Janelle is the faker and then Jack was right. They have Bittly announce what he is next. There’s the tense silence. Jack is glaring at him without really meaning to.
“I.” Bittle starts. Jack hasn’t felt so pumped since he was playing against the Flyers and they were tied up with 34 seconds left. “Am. A.”
Jack is holding his breath. He needs a win. He was right about this.
Bittle laughs. The other judges all exclaim at how amazed they are by this. The host gets Bittle to explain that he is still a college student and he does most of his baking in a frat house (hence the sirracha move). Everyone is amazed.
Jack is livid. He knew it and then stupid Bittle made him change his answer. He should have stuck with his gut, he should have–
“Sorry for fooling you right at the end, darling,” Bittle says as they wrap up, shooting him a smile. “Had to get that 15 grand though.”
“I knew it, though,” Jack mumbles, feeling his face go a bit red. “I did know it.”
“Oh, you had no idea,” Bittle says and though he’s laughing, Jack doesn’t feel mocked. “You can’t know everything about me that quick!”
Bittle is cute and small and compact and Jack feels that rush he feels when he’s been bested but by a team that deserves it.
“How much time?” he blurts. Bittle blinks at him. He flushes harder but continues anyway. “Would it take to know everything?”
“Well, I- I-” Bittle is a bit flustered now too. Jack can see his face getting red. It’s adorable. But, unlike Jack, he manages to collect himself rather quickly. “I think dinner would be as good a place to start as any.”
And so that’s where they start.