At last year's First Annual Orioles Cook-Off, it was obvious that Gregg Zaun was in it to win it. This year, that Oriole was Luke Scott.
And his quiet intensity paid off, as Scott was eventually awarded the title of Best Chef in Birdland at the conclusion of the Second Annual Orioles Cook-Off, held this afternoon at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore.
Luke Scott's surf and turf, featuring filet mignon and salmon topped with scallops and cream sauce beat out Kevin Millwood's chicken enchiladas (second place) and Brad Bergesen's "simple salmon" (third place).
Scott's surf and turf was deemed the best dish of the three by a panel of five judges, including our own Roch Kubatko, The Baltimore Sun's Rob Kasper, and individuals from the ESPN Zone and the Maryland Food Bank, as well as one Orioles fan from the crowd (well, two if you also count his eight-month old son, Connor, dressed in full Oriole orange).
Bergesen, pitted against the veterans, talked a little trash before the event began, saying "I heard Scott making some excuses about his grill, but I think Millwood over there is the one I'll have to worry about."
"It's all about the preparation - coming physically and mentally prepared today," Bergesen went on to joke.
Moving on to Kevin Millwood, emcee Jim Hunter was determined to get the quiet pitcher to open up.
"You're a man of few words, aren't you?" Hunter asked.
"Very," Millwood said.
But as the event unfolded, it was Millwood tossing out the most memorable one-liners.
When asked for the secret to his chicken enchiladas, he replied coolly, "I can't tell ya." And when asked what he had going on the stove early in the game, he kept the even tone and paused for a moment...
"That would be cheese," he said simply.
And when asked how he could sit back so cool and confident, while Bergesen disappeared to the back kitchen and Scott slaved away on the end, Millwood replied, "Well, at some point in this, you have to put it in the oven...and this is that point...And since I can't sit in the oven with the enchiladas, I'm chillin right here."
But don't take Millwood's sarcasm as malicious; he and Hunter each bantered with a smile as the cooking time boiled away.
And Millwood even said he's not a pitcher you have to leave alone when his turn comes up in the rotation.
"So we can talk to you the day you're set to pitch?" Hunter asked.
"Yea," Millwood said. "Why not?"
Also as the meals were being prepared, the O's gave away tickets and autographed items and opened the floor to questions from fans. In response to one fan's question, Millwood and Scott both agreed that their favorite meal is steak, with Scott adding fresh seafood to his favorite menu as well. On the other side of the coin, Scott said the one food he won't eat is fast food, and Millwood cringed as he answered simply with "mushrooms."
All the while Luke Scott never seemed to take a rest from the preparation of his award-winning surf and turf. But don't worry if you missed the event today, since, as the winner, Luke Scott's entrÃ©e will be featured on the ESPN Zone menu throughout the remainder of the baseball season.
Finally, the event wrapped up with each Oriole signing his ESPN Zone apron, and the three autographed items were given away to O's fans in the crowd.