BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Spending hours in the kitchen each week was never Michael Mararian’s plan.
"People say to me, 'You’re a baker, and I’m like 'No, I’m not!' To my grave I’m gonna be saying I’m not a baker," said Mararian.
He's actually an artist from Massachussetts and has been for most of his life.
"I’ve done it for years and years I've painted, I’ve recently dabbled in fabric art," said Mararian.
He 20 years painting in New York City, that’s where he met his wife Elizabeth, a Buffalo native.
"We moved up here and then she became ill," said Mararian.
In last few months of her life, the pair would spend time on the couch watching The Great British Baking Show and every Sunday after the show, he’d bake something from the show for her.
She passed away in 2015, but Michael kept baking in her memory, here and there.
"And when the pandemic hit though, i had nothing to do, so I said, 'Oh I’m gonna do more baking, there were no art galleries happening," said Mararian.
He posed around Christmas time with some cookies he made with a vintage Christmas sweater on
"And I had more comments on the sweater than the cookies!” said Mararian.
Once he caught on to what the audience liked, he dusted off some more vintage clothes: neck scarves, ruffled tuxedos, Levi's action suits, a vintage Farrah Fawcett t-shirt.
His dog DesK gets groovy too.
Once a week, he’ll bake a cake, put on the old threads and take a picture to post on his Instagram page, Polyester Bakes.
"The engagement return is crazy, I get like 400-500 likes! you bake a cake and dress like Mr. Furley from Three’s Company and everybody goes crazy," said Mararian.
And now it turns out his hobby could win him $20,000. His friend pushed him to enter the Greatest Baker competition.
"I said alright fine, I sent my info and they accepted it. I don’t anticipate winning, I think it would be just the biggest hoot to say I won best baker considering I'm not a baker," said Mararian.
Michael needs to be in first place by 7pm on June 10 to move on to the next round. You can vote once a day for free. Click here to vote for Michael.