Now we’re cooking

I’ll pass along the lineups in about an hour. I ducked into the MASN WebStudio to file a quick entry on today’s Orioles Cook-Off and to revel in the air conditioning.

I took a little walk through the Inner Harbor. In the direct sunlight. Wearing a black shirt and gray slacks.

You get the picture.

My car temperature was 96 degrees after I retrieved it from one of the public lots on Commerce St., and it only got down to 95 by the time I pulled into Camden Yards.

Anyway, enough about my foolish attempt at heat stroke...

Luke Scott, cooking injured, took first place with his surf and turf - a perfectly prepared filet mignon and salmon with scallops and cream sauce. His dish included a baked sweet potato and broccoli.

Yes, it was that good.

Actually, all three meals were superb. Kevin Millwood placed second with his chicken enchiladas, and Brad Bergesen settled for third with his Simple Salmon.

I felt bad for Bergesen. I’m not sure that I’ve eaten a better piece of salmon in my life, but the others topped him in presentation. It was a narrow defeat.

Naturally, the other judges - including Sun food columnist Rob Kasper - took a few bites and jotted down notes. I cleaned three plates and started eating off one that belonged to the guy next to me. He had eaten lunch earlier, not knowing his number would be drawn in a raffle and he’d be selected from the crowd to serve as an extra judge. Lucky break for me.

“You eat like a sportswriter,” Kasper told me.

Guilty as charged.

Millwood had little to say, as usual. When MASN’s Jim Hunter asked what Millwood placed in one pot, the right-hander deadpanned, “That would be cheese.”

I’m expecting the same answer the next time I ask him about a home run ball.

When Hunter pointed out that Millwood didn’t use as many bowls as Bergesen, the veteran replied, “Don’t need them.”

As for where he finished in the contest, Millwood said, “Second place stinks.” To which Bergesen replied, “Third place stinks even more than second.”

Scott raised both arms in victory after receiving the vote totals - another sign that his left shoulder is feeling better. Millwood sat with a big grin on his face as Scott said, “Hey, I’m not the one who was talking smack earlier. That’s all I’m saying.”

Scott’s dish will be a featured item on the ESPN Zone menu throughout the baseball season.

Nobody arrived at 7 a.m., as Gregg Zaun did last year, but you could tell that Scott was all business as he cleaned the seeds from his red peppers and requested more utensils.

I was impressed by the large turnout, which certainly pleased the Maryland Food Bank representatives.

OK, we’ll get back to baseball in about an hour.

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