Perfect Trace (周到なる追跡 Pāfekuto Torēsu) is an original cooking style developed and utilized by Subaru Mimasaka.
Subaru in general does not have a fixed cooking style that he lives by. Instead, Subaru frequently challenges his other classmates to Shokugekis to break their spirits and prove his own skills. He does this by researching his opponent during the preparatory period leading up to the Shokugeki by stalking them. From his time watching them, Subaru grasps their cooking styles as well as their habits when cooking. He has shown that he can even predict on the spot improvisations during the Shokugeki and has taken all possibilities into account to ensure that even if they were to make a sudden improvement to their dish, Subaru will always emerge victorious. This applies to opponents who are unaware that he had been stalking them. He does this by making arrangements, small modifications to the original recipe that improves the flavor immensely. These arrangements stack up and make his copied dish even more delicious than the original produced by his opponent.
The process involves not simply stalking a person, but fully understanding them down to their physical well-being and psychology. Part of his process includes even role-playing as his targets to get a better understanding. If necessary, he will break in to their rooms, root through their trash or hack their computers.
On occasion though, Subaru loses a bit of footing when his opponents are aware and they take preemptive measures to protect themselves. Subaru still is able to get a good grasp of their cooking style and habits because most opponents who knows fall under two categories.
- Bluffing - Some chefs attempt to throw Subaru off by saying that they will cook a specific dish, then later change it to a completely different dish. The intention is to completely throw off Subaru in hopes that he takes the bait, but it has been shown that he has never fell for it because his degree of stalking can go as far as stealing personal information from a computer to confirm their dish.
- Ad Libbing - Other chefs who are more confident in their skills enter the battle without planning ahead and instead, decide their dish on the spot during the match. Subaru gains a different kind of advantage where he has the leeway of having time to thoroughly prepare his version of his opponent's dish while his opponents are pressed for time and must solely rely on their abilities.
The downside to this style is that it assumes the opponent will follow his predictions. Subaru forces them down a track to defeat assuming that the data he's collected is accurate. In his first and only defeat so far, Subaru lost because he assumed Sōma had ad-libbed his dish for their Shokugeki when in reality, Sōma was constantly making improvements to his dish throughout the preparation period and the match itself while Subaru had settled on his dish early in the prep period. Subaru also states that performing multiple traces, such as in the event of preparing for a Régiment de Cuisine, can be extremely exhausting. Furthermore, Subaru's Perfect Trace might be unable to perfectly Trace the procedure of more delicate ingredients, which require a great deal of experience to master, as seen during the Shokugeki against Sōmei Saitō with the theme of Tuna.
Since his defeat against Sōma, Subaru has continued to hone his Perfect Trace, developing a new technique called Perfect Trace Flash. During a match, Subaru can now instantly perceive, analyze, and copy an opponents moves and sync his movements with his opponent to near mirroring speeds.