If you miss watching Jesse Palmer on ABC’s The Proposal, you better grab that remote, flip over to Food Network, grab some popcorn (or cookies? or brownies?) and hunker down for this season of Holiday Baking Championship! If you’re not familiar (you should be), the competition follows some of the country’s top bakers as they try to be faster, tastier, and more creative than their peers. Former Bachelor Jesse hosts the show, and he sat down with Life & Style exclusively to give us the lowdown on his delicious winter gig.

Most fans know Jesse as a professional football player and reality star, so why would he host a baking competition, you may ask? It turns out he has a secret passion for delicious treats. “I’m a huge foodie and a big fan of Food Network, I watch all the time!!!” he explained. But how did he get involved? “A few years back I was asked to host Spring Baking Championship (which was a no-brainer for me!) and was lucky to be asked back to host Holiday Baking Championship the last two years. The holidays are my favorite time of year, plus I love eating baked goods, so it was a perfect match!”

Unfortunately, these world-class bakers haven’t exactly rubbed off on Jesse. “I actually don’t bake too often, but I love eating baked goods!” he laughed. “My mom used to bake pies when I was growing up (strawberry rhubarb was my favorite!) and my girlfriend [Emely Fardo] makes the best chocolate brownies, so I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by incredible baked goods for most of my life!” And if you think that these bakers’ skills look like magic on the show, well… it looks like that in real life, too. “Our competitors this season are SO talented, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to duplicate their skills in the kitchen,” he said.

If you and your friends have been taking bets as to who might win this season of the hit show, don’t look to Jesse for advice. “This was the most competitive and evenly matched Baking series I’ve hosted on Food Network,” he said of the insanely talented pastry chefs. “Everyone brings their A-game and gets to demonstrate their creativity and talent in the kitchen every show, making our judge’s decisions extremely difficult! I kept changing my mind with respect to who I thought would win and walk away as the Holiday Baking Champion!” You’ll just have to tune in every Monday at 9/8c on Food Network to find out who comes out on top!