|“||Ermm... I'm Sōma Yukihira. Truth be told, I didn't expect to be admitted in this academy, but I don't plan on losing to some bunch that has never stood in front of clients. I'll use all of you as stepping stones. Now that I'm here, I'll take the top.||”|
—Sōma Yukihira, on announcing himself in Tōtsuki.
Sōma Yukihira (
Sōma is a young teenage boy with yellow eyes and a vertical scar on his left eyebrow. It is shown that Sōma has had this scar as far back as elementary school. He has spiky dark-red hair with short bangs. After the Stagiaire event, Soma's bangs grew in length, now reaching just below his cheeks and has more volume overall.
Sōma's main outfit is his Restaurant Yukihira cooking uniform, consisting of a black shirt with the restaurant's logo on the back and left chest area of his shirt. Whenever he cooks, he wears a white apron over his waist. While at Tōtsuki, Sōma wears a black coat summer school uniform over his Yukihira cooking uniform. Sōma also ties his trademark white headband around his forehead whenever he cooks. If he is not cooking or bathing, he wears his headband around his left wrist. Compared to his fellow Tōtsuki students, Sōma dresses very casually; in his free time, he sports a hanten jacket with a simple white shirt beneath it and a striped track pants at his places of residence. Sōma states that dressing in his hanten calms him down.
|“||Happy to serve!||”|
—Sōma Yukihira, Sōma's catchphrase
Sōma is an energetic and optimistic boy who has the constant drive to improve his cooking, mostly due to his strong relationship and rivalry with his father, Jōichirō Yukihira. He is confident in his skills and always seeks to challenge others to prove his abilities and test the limits of his cooking. Because of this, Sōma constantly finds himself in very difficult situations in his various duels and challenges which would break the spirits of most chefs. However, he remains positive and cool under pressure, never backing down from a challenge and is always constantly thinking and evolving his cooking. Sōma is also flexible and innovative, able to break away from ordinary procedures to cook dishes, thus allowing him to make his own solutions when he needs to find an edge. As such, he can create some of the most unorthodox, but also incredibly delicious dishes the school has never seen.
Sōma is courageous and even reckless, often getting himself into very dangerous situations that could jeopardize his entire cooking career. For three Shokugekis, Sōma risked being expelled from Tōtsuki if he lost, while in another Shokugeki he faced giving up being a chef in general forever. Because of his unknown humble origins, Sōma is never the favorite to win most of his matches as he constantly faces fellow classmates of more noteworthy backgrounds, most of which do not consider him a threat because of their own advantages. Time and time again, Sōma has proven that he is more than capable of overcoming the most difficult challenges with the steepest handicaps. Jōichirō attributes Sōma's strength not to natural cooking talent, but to his courage that allows him to boldly face whoever challenges him, no matter how much of a genius they are or whatever disadvantages they may throw at him. Sōma is not afraid to admit that his opponent is better than him at that moment and that he is not perfect, but he refuses to give up. As such he is not afraid to examine his own deficiencies, and is even eager to learn whatever he needs to in order to overcome them. Sōma's lifelong goal is to become a better chef than his father and thus will fight to the very end to achieve his dream. He will plunge head first into trial and error until he gets to the end results that he displays in his duels, spending days or even weeks exhausting every possible option until he finds the best one. Even in defeat, Sōma takes it as a sign that there is still much more for him to learn.
Even though many of his classmates had hostile feelings towards him, mainly due to his entrance speech, Sōma is a very friendly individual. He has struck up friendships with everyone in the Polar Star Dormitory within the first few hours in the dorm. He also has strong charisma, able to turn former rivals into allies and friends including Ikumi Mito, Takumi Aldini, Alice Nakiri, Subaru Mimasaka, and Hisako Arato. He is always willing to help out a friend, even at the risk of his place in Tōtsuki for them, and is more than willing to assist anyone in need. At the same time, Sōma has a natural charm around him that causes people to believe in his ability to win even the most hopeless of duels. Even Hisako noted that Sōma's ability to get people to believe in him in is astounding. Sōma does not believe that one's background should dictate their skills, and thus, treats his classmates more as equals, something that was rarely reciprocated. While he is constantly belittled by others, namely Erina, either he is not aware of the fact that they are insulting him or chooses not to respond to it. Either way, Sōma never retorts when insulted and usually uses his cooking to do the talking for him. Whenever Sōma wins, he seldom gloats his victories and even takes time to help his opponents see what they did wrong, thus helping them become better chefs themselves.
Sōma was born to Jōichirō Yukihira and his unnamed wife. At the age of 3, Sōma began working in his father's home restaurant, Restaurant Yukihira. As a kid, Sōma was interested in cooking and the interest itself motivated him to become a great chef like his father. While still in kindergarten, Sōma began to cook on his own and made his classmates eat his food, though most cried from the taste. He even began working in the school's cafeteria which surprised most of the chefs working there. Starting from Sōma's sixth year of primary school, he challenged his father to numerous cooking duels which in the end, resulted in a 489 losing streak before Sōma was forced to leave Restaurant Yukihira to attend Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Despite his numerous defeats, Sōma continued to further his cooking skills and learned from his father in the hopes of one day winning a cooking duel.
While he assisted Jōichirō in Restaurant Yukihira, Sōma created dishes that made it onto the restaurant menu as his part of his training. Though Jōichirō said they were tasty, he deemed them not good enough. Sōma was confused by his father's rhetorical statement, so Jōichirō explained that even the simplest dishes cannot have a single missing element, as customers at Restaurant Yukihira expect nothing less than extraordinary to satisfy their hearts.
In another flashback, Sōma was bogged by a huge surge of customers. Unable to keep up the pace and his nerves were getting the best of him, the inexperienced Sōma felt his hands go numb and his mind went blank. Jōichirō employed a tactic to calm his son down by clapping hard on Sōma's hands. Confused over the action, he learned that panic and lack of self-confidence due to unexpected pressure is a chef's greatest weakness in Jōichirō's mind. He advised that if Sōma finds himself in a similar situation again, he should use his imagination to plan through it. This one line influenced Sōma through various challenges despite daunting handicaps and restrictions throughout his life at Tōtsuki. He also kept his father's hand clapping technique in mind in case any of his partners needed the same boost.
Defending Restaurant Yukihira
Main article: Introduction Arc
Sōma started his 489th cooking duel against his father, but was once again lost in a decisive defeat. Just as the Restaurant Yukihira closed up for the night, an urban planner, Yaeko Minegasaki, entered trying to convince the Yukihiras to sell their shop but Sōma spoke on behalf of the restaurant, burning her business card on the grill and declaring that they would only close up the shop if they could not fulfill a customer's request. The next day, Sōma discovered that someone had trampled and destroyed all of the meat in the restaurant freezer and splattered paint across the awning. Just as Sōma discovered this, Yaeko arrived asking for a meat dish, knowing that her group had destroyed all possible meat. Undeterred, Sōma cooked a dish using potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon he had planned to use for breakfast as the "meat" which he called Roast Pork, Just Kidding.
However, Yaeko refused to eat it, believing that it did not fulfill her request, but Sōma forced her to take a bite. To her surprise, the dish was unlike anything she had tasted from the restaurants she helped develop. Sōma snatched the dish away and told her he would let her finish it if she promised to never target the shop again. Unable to resist the taste of the dish, Yaeko complied. As Sōma began to clean the awning, Jōichirō returned to announce that he will close down Restaurant Yukihira for three years. However, before Sōma could appeal his decision, Jōichirō told him that it was time to part from Restaurant Yukihira, to go out in the world and measure his ability.Jōichirō recommended that Sōma attend the Tōtsuki Culinary Academy during the three-year closure. A few weeks later, Sōma arrived to take the entrance examination. As he walked to the examination hall, Sōma noticed a trail of students screaming in horror because they had failed the entrance exam as well as parents promising to give large sums of money in exchange to have their child accepted. Sōma then received a phone call from his father who was currently working in New York. He told Sōma that Tōtsuki is a prestigious culinary school and if he could not graduate from there, he had no hope of surpassing his father. With his competitive spirit ignited by these words, Sōma set out, determined to stand at the top of the school at the end of his high school life.
Sōma eventually arrived at the examination area where a few other applicants were waiting to take the test. He tried to befriend one of the applicants, Yoshiaki Nikaidō and the two began to talk each other until he told him about Restaurant Yukihira. Yoshiaki kicked him off the bench and mocked him for his "plebian" background as the other applicants nearby laughed at Sōma. Fed up with their insults, Sōma grabbed Yoshiaki by his collar and held him up, telling him not to insult his family's restaurant. Sōma entered the hall with the other applicants where two girls were waiting inside. One of the girls introduced herself as Erina Nakiri, who was present as the judge for the exam. She tasked them with cooking a dish with egg as a basis, but she also added that they had one minute to withdraw. Almost immediately, everyone ran out of the room, including Yoshiaki who told Sōma that Erina was a feared person in the culinary world, and any person who gave her an unsatisfactory dish can consider their cooking careers over.
Though Erina had thought that the room was completely vacated, Sōma stayed behind, determined to take the test. He started to prepare a dish from Yukihira's secret menu, Transforming Furikake Gohan. Though she was initially unamused by the dish name and the final result, Sōma managed to keep her in the room as he cooked. As he finished the meal, the dish took on a new shape and was presented well enough to entice Erina to take a bite. To her surprise, the simple dish was unlike anything she had tasted before. However, she refused to approve that such a simple dish made such an impression on her. To make matters worse, Sōma's cheeky comments infuriated her further, causing her to immediately deny him entrance to Tōtsuki. Sōma was speechless as he left the room, unable to comprehend that his dish was not good.
Unbeknownst to both Soma and Erina, Senzaemon Nakiri, the director of Totsuki and Erina's grandfather, was observing their interaction in the background. After they both exited the room upon reaching Erina's verdict, Senzaemon became curious and sampled Soma's dish for himself. After taking a single bite of his dish, Senzaemon immediately overturned Erina's decision and sent Sōma an acceptance letter.
One month after the entrance exam, Senzaemon Nakiri welcomed the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation into Tōtsuki Culinary Academy but warned them that of the 1000 current students, less than ten percent will graduate. After giving his speech, he introduced a student who was the only one to pass the entrance exam at the high school level: Sōma. Sōma then gave his speech, declaring that he will be the one to stand at the top of Tōtsuki at the end of their High School life and will use the academy as a stepping stone to get there. All of the students at the ceremony did not take his comment well and angrily booed him as he walked off the stage.
As he entered the backstage area, Sōma encountered Erina, who was surprised that he was in the Academy despite the fact that she personally denied him. Trying to put Sōma in his place, Erina told him that their fellow classmates had formal Tōtsuki culinary education for the past three years while he has not. Sōma responded that he has twelve years of personal kitchen and customer service experience while they have not. Sōma then vowed to make Erina admit his food is good at the end of their High School life.
Sōma's First Day
His very first class was under the instruction of Roland Chapelle, a lecturer known throughout the academy as "The Chef That Doesn't Smile". He was paired with Megumi Tadokoro, the girl who was deemed "the most likely to fail out of Tōtsuki" by the rest of the class. Roland tasked his students to make a Boeuf Bourguignon and added that any dish that does not get an "A" will get an "E" even if they deserved a middle grade. Though they were nearly finished with the dish, when Megumi left the pot unattended, two students sabotaged their dish using salt. Megumi began to panic since there was no time to soften the meat, but Sōma came up with a solution and the two set off to work. Sōma and Megumi managed to save their dish and served it to Roland. To his surprise, their Boeuf Bourguignon was soft and tender. Sōma revealed that he had used honey because the enzymes in it helped to speed up the softening process. Roland finally took a bite of the dish and smiled for the first time on record. Roland awarded Sōma and Megumi with an "A", but he regretted not being able to give them a grade higher than that.
The Newest Member of Polar Star Dormitory
After a good first day, Sōma searched for the Polar Star Dormitory, the only on-campus lodging. After an extensive hike, Sōma arrived at the dorm. Inside, chaos unfolded as wild animals ran rampant in the halls while copious amounts of smoke emerged from one of the resident's rooms. Sōma then met the dormitory mother, Fumio Daimidō, who told Sōma that he would need to cook a dish in order to enter the dorm. Sōma had no ingredients to make a dish but he asked to see the kitchen. Inside, Sōma saw nothing but leftover ingredients. Though Fumio believed that Sōma could not prepare a dish from the scraps, Sōma devised a full course meal and quickly began to cook an Improvised Mackerel Burger Meal. To Fumio's surprise, from mere leftover ingredients, Sōma made a fantastic meal. Impressed by his ingenuity and creativity, Fumio awarded him lodging in room 303.
Later that night, Sōma was summoned to Room 205 for his welcoming party. There he met his fellow 92nd Generation students Megumi, Yūki Yoshino, Ryōko Sakaki, Shun Ibusaki, and Zenji Marui as well as the 91st Generation student, Satoshi Isshiki. During the party, Sōma learned more about the Elite Ten Council and his welcoming party picked up. After most of the residents fell asleep or returned to their rooms, Sōma was left alone with Satoshi where he gave Sōma a dish he made. Sōma was left impressed by the dish as Satoshi revealed that he is the current 7th seat of the Elite Ten.
He challenged Sōma to make a spring themed dish. Sōma decided to revamp Yukihira's #20 Secret Menu dish and made a Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke. Satoshi was surprised that Sōma used poêlée, a French cooking technique, in his Japanese themed dish, which Sōma told that he had learned from his father. Satoshi was impressed by Sōma's dish and the two shook hands as they decided that the duel was a draw. As Satoshi closed up the party, Sōma asked how someone could become a member of the Elite Ten and asked if he had won the duel, would Satoshi had lost his seat to Sōma. Satoshi ignored his comment and told him that they could discuss it later.
The next morning, Sōma woke up early and waited in the dormitory dining room to challenge Satoshi for his Elite Ten seat. However, Satoshi explained the rules to make a Shokugeki, an official cooking duel students can issue in the school. Satoshi told Sōma that since he did not want to fight him, the duel was not feasible. Also the weight of an Elite Ten seat would cost more than just Sōma being expelled. Sōma accepted that his goal to enter the Elite Ten would have to wait.
First Shokugeki Match
Main article: Mito Vs. Don RS Shokugeki
Soon after, Sōma decided to look for a club with Megumi who suggested that he look for one. Eventually, he found the Don RS, a club devoted to making Donburi dishes. However, the president of the club, Kanichi Konishi told them that the club was targeted by Erina for her expansion project and was going to be disbanded soon. After reading one of the Don note books, Sōma said that his recipes were interesting, causing Kanichi to immediately perk up. As Kanichi finished explaining his plight, a contractor crew burst into the clubroom with one of Erina's enforcers, Ikumi Mito, who had arrived to move Erina's project forward. After Ikumi intimidated Kanichi and said that all ingredients pale to high quality meat, Sōma called her ideal disgraceful. Sōma then asked Kanichi if he could be the combatant in the Shokugeki. For Sōma's stipulation, he would leave Tōtsuki if he lost. However, he added that the Don RS cannot be targeted by Erina's project and Ikumi must join the Don RS if he won and she accepted the terms. With a Donburi dish as the theme and meat as the basis, Ikumi left the room to prepare.
Sōma had just three days to prepare before the Shokugeki. Over the course of the three days, Sōma made numerous Don dishes. Though they were good, Kanichi felt that they were not enough to beat Ikumi who was most likely to bring an A5 grade beef as her meat basis. Given the Don RS measly remaining budget and the limited funds Jōichirō had given to him, Sōma was given a huge handicap as his cooking materials were limited by his financial shortcomings. After numerous attempts and only a few funds left, Sōma was at his wits end. Megumi encouraged him to keep trying, but Sōma noticed that Megumi had a recipe book with Japanese steak don recipes. Sōma quickly prepared a Chaliapin Steak which Kanichi deemed worthy enough to challenge an A5 meat prepared by Ikumi. However Sōma spent the rest of the night modifying his recipe to perfection.
The next day, rumors had spread across the academy about Sōma's Shokugeki and a large crowd gathered in the arena, mostly to see Sōma's impending departure. When Sōma was introduced, he was met with unanimous boos from the audience. As the cooking commenced, Ikumi gathered praise from the audience as she began to work with her A5 meat while Sōma's cheap on-sale market meat was met with even more jeers from the audience. Throughout the cooking time, Ikumi constantly threw insults at Sōma, but he found it pointless to respond, stating that anyone who is that cocky could not be trusted with proper skills which insults her even further. Ikumi presented first with her A5 Japanese Beef Roti Don, which garnered universal praise from the judges.
Sōma presented next with his Chaliapin Steak Don. Though the judges initially did not want to eat it in the aftermath of Ikumi's dish, after taking a bite, the judges could not stop eating the dish, even saying that the dish overall was better than Ikumi's. Sōma critiqued Ikumi's dish saying that her dish was not a true don, along of the philosophy of making the don. Sōma then handed her a sample of his dish when she refused to believe that his cheap meat could be better than her A5 beef. As Ikumi ate his dish, she realized the difference in the impact of their dishes as a whole rather than just the meat. Sōma was declared the unanimous victor of the match. In the aftermath, Ikumi lost everything and Sōma asked to try her don. After he called her nickname "Nikumi" cute, she fled in embarrassment. Kanichi declared that Sōma would be the next Don RS president, but he refused, as he only came to the club to develop a new donburi dish.
Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp
Main article: Training Camp Arc
A few days after his victory, Sōma and his fellow 92nd Polar Star residents were notified of their first hurdle during their journey at Tōtsuki, the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp. Satoshi recalled his experience at the camp, where dozens of students were expelled each day. He warned them that this was the first event to begin to whittle down the numbers of their class. Though everyone was worried if they would make it through, Sōma remained positive, stating that if only half of the people will pass, they will have to be in the half that passes.
A few days after receiving the announcement, Sōma and the rest of the 92nd Generation arrived at Tōtsuki Resort. In the main hall, the silence was unsettling, but Sōma managed to find Ikumi amongst the crowd before Roland quieted the students. He introduced the guests brought in to assist in the camp, a group of famous chefs who were among the 1% to graduate from Tōtsuki, the Tōtsuki Academy Alumni. One of the alumni, Kojirō Shinomiya, picked up a scent and was about to say something to Sōma but, at the last second apologized to him and told the boy standing to the right that he was expelled. The head adviser of the camp, Gin Dōjima introduced himself and welcomed the students to the camp. He then explained Kojirō's actions, declaring that while they are in the camp, they will be treated as if they are employees for the alumni. Any student can be "fired" if the alumni are not satisfied with their work. Gin wished them well and officially started the camp.
The First Day
Sōma's first assignment was supervised by Hinako Inui who declared that the task will require them to work with their partners from Roland's lecture. As Sōma and Megumi met up, Sōma's foot was stomped on by a boy who declared that he would defeat Sōma in a match. With two hours to make a dish using only ingredients found within the area around the building, Hinako's only condition was that she must be satisfied by their dishes in order for them to pass. The boy, who later introduced himself as Takumi Aldini, convinced Hinako to judge whose dish was superior between the two. Takumi then left the room with his partner and twin brother, Isami Aldini to prepare their dish.
Sōma and Megumi gathered a few ingredients and returned to the kitchen just as Takumi arrived with an Aigamo duck. Pushing Sōma out of the way, Sōma noticed that Takumi's hands were one that was experienced in the kitchen. As he waited for his meal to cook, Takumi told Sōma that he had pride in his own family owned restaurant, Trattoria Aldini. After they presented their dish, an Aigamo Grilled with Spices, Hinako enjoyed the meal and passed them. Sōma fired himself up to take on the challenge, but Hinako added that whoever lost must bow before the winner and call themselves a dejected loser three times.
Sōma finalized his dish choice and sent Megumi to gather some garnish. For his secret weapon, he snatched Hinako's kaki seeds and immediately left the room to gather a few more ingredients. Returning to the kitchen, Sōma and Megumi cooked a Char Okakiage, which he named on the spot, and presented it to Hinako. Impressed by the ingenuity of the kaki seeds and the well made arrangement, Hinako passed Sōma and Megumi as time expired. Sōma and Takumi asked her which dish she thought was better, but Hinako could not decide so she declared the duel a draw. Takumi declared that he would defeat him when they met again, but ironically, they were seated next to each other on the bus. Though Sōma joked at him, he thought to himself that Takumi was an impressive individual and that he wouldn't have met someone like him had he stayed at Restaurant Yukihira.
When they returned to the hotel, the students thought they would finally get some rest, but Hitoshi Sekimori told them that they first had to cook 50 Beef Steak Meals for the hotel's guests and had to cook their own meals. Sōma easily finished the task, completing it well before everyone else. Alone, Sōma decided to take a bath in the hotel's hot spring to pass the time. On his way to the hot-spring he bumped into Erina. Erina voiced her skepticism against Sōma's grade in Roland's class and his victory in the Shokugeki against Ikumi. She continued to belittle Sōma's achievements and even admitted that the day that he would leave the academy would be the happiest day of her life, but Sōma did not care about her comments.
As Hisako Arato, Erina's Secretary, arrived after completing her task, Erina told Sōma to leave her presence. Sōma obliged and headed into the bath where another person was already bathing: Gin Dōjima. Gin was impressed that Sōma had managed to finish before he finished his bath, saying that last year only Satoshi had accomplished the same feat. Sōma and Gin chatted for a while, discussing about Erina who Gin felt will become the greatest masterpiece ever created in Tōtsuki. Still, Gin wished Sōma good luck on his journey at Tōtsuki. Gin shook his hand as he left the bath just as Takumi had arrived. After his bath, Sōma met up with the rest of the Polar Star in Zenji's room. Though most of them collapsed from fatigue, Sōma, Ryōko, Megumi, and Shun remained conscious. Megumi expressed doubts in her abilities, but Sōma told her that she really helped him out today and that he only succeeded thanks to her help.
Main article: Yukihira-Tadokoro Vs. Shinomiya ''Shokugeki''
The second day put Sōma under Kojirō's instructions. For his assignment, Kojirō tasked them with cooking a 9 Vegetable Terrine, but cryptically told the students to treat each other as enemies since they were to work alone for the assignment. Sōma passed the assignment with little difficulty. Eventually Megumi finished, but when she presented the dish, Kojirō fired her because she had altered the recipe without his permission. Sōma faulted Kojirō for the bad cauliflower and that Megumi was worthy to stay. Kojirō did not take Sōma's defiance well, telling him that the bad cauliflower was there on purpose to reduce the number of people that could pass and threatened to expel him as well. Megumi accepted his judgment and tried to stop Sōma before he did something too rash, but Sōma confronted Kojirō as her eyes welled with tears and challenged him to a Shokugeki to preserve Megumi's future. Though Kojirō refused as per the rules of a Shokugeki, Gin overheard the challenge and made an unofficial Shokugeki, forcing Kojirō to comply. As Sōma and Megumi left Gin's office, she scolded him for his reckless action. Sōma asserted that he did it because she was not meant to be expelled from Tōtsuki.After completing their afternoon tasks, Sōma and Megumi arrived at a basement kitchen in the Villa where the Shokugeki was to be held. Gin added one last condition to the Shokugeki, Megumi must be the head chef because the duel was to show Megumi's potential, not Sōma's. As the challenge began, Megumi began to tense up from the unbearable pressure. Seeing this, Sōma employed his father's hand clapping technique, quelling Megumi's nerves. He told Megumi to pick a dish that best suits her and she finally picked her dish.
As Megumi lead, she had trouble in the beginning, but Sōma remained one step ahead of her, strictly following her orders and finishing them in record speed. Off to the side, the alumni noted that Sōma's skills were not the sort that a high school student should have. After completing their dishes, Kojirō presented his dish, a Chou Farci first, which was well received by the alumni. When it was Megumi's turn to present, Sōma gave her a light push when her nerves began to affect her again. Megumi's Rainbow Terrine received praise from the judges and Sōma gave Megumi a smile for her efforts. When judgement time arrived, the result was a complete, one-sided loss.
Though it seemed that their Tōtsuki lives had ended, Gin placed a coin on Megumi's plate in recognition of her efforts. Kojirō was given a coin, who then dropped it onto Megumi's plate after her Rainbow Terrine moved his heart. Finally, Hinako added a vote of her own, rendering the duel a tie. Leaving the final decision to Kojirō, he allowed Megumi and Sōma to remain in camp. After receiving some encouraging words from Gin, Megumi broke down and cried. Sōma took the opportunity to console her until she was ready to leave. Outside of the kitchen, Megumi thanked Sōma for believing in her even when she did not believe in herself, but Sōma told her it was no trouble at all. Sōma sent Megumi on ahead of him so he could mull over some thoughts.
Alone, he slammed his fist into a nearby wall out of frustration, upset that he had "lost" the duel since he was cooking to win. After collecting himself, Sōma returned to the hotel where Yūki immediately slapped him for being so reckless. However, Megumi defended that if it was not for Sōma, she would not be with them now. Everyone is relieved that the Polar Star Dormitory is still together in one piece.
The Fourth Day & Breakfast Buffet Challenge
On the third day, Sōma witnessed Megumi's incredible improvement and smiled as the Shokugeki helped Megumi improve. Sōma vowed to further his cooking, but during the dinner assignment, Sōma noticed several people in business suits observing the students as they cooked. After completing their dinner task, Sōma and the rest of the students were summoned to the main hall at 10 PM where Gin announced that the students next assignment was to cook a breakfast dish for a buffet the next morning at 6 AM. With eggs as a basis, Sōma and the rest of the students quickly headed to the kitchens to make their dishes. After much thought, Sōma made his dish selection. As he started to prepare a sample, he noticed a mysterious girl watching him cook at his station before leaving.
As the morning of the fourth day arrived, Sōma arrived in Hall A with Megumi and Takumi. As luck would have it, Sōma's cooking station was next to none other than Erina. As he settled into his kitchen, the doors opened as the guests began to flood in. Gin added that they had just two hours to serve 200 dishes as the assignment began. As time went on, some people began to achieve the 200 quota including Megumi, Takumi, and Erina, but, with only 30 minutes remaining, Sōma had only served ten. For his dish, Sōma decided to serve a Mini Soufflé Omelette, but his dish was not suitable for a buffet because the dish quickly lost form if it was not served quickly. To make matters worse, Erina's own dish was stealing much of the guest's attention. Erina taunted Sōma, telling him that his luck had run out. However Sōma was too busy with his eyes closed, planning how to overcome his unfortunate handicap.
When Akari Miyano was pushed away from Erina's kitchen by some boys, Sōma caught her attention. Saying that he was about to perform magic, he cooked a Mini Soufflé Omlette right before her eyes and served it to her. Akari found it delicious, asking how the eggs melted in her mouth like magic. At that moment, some of the Resort staff overheard the little girl and tried the dish themselves. Slowly, Sōma's dish began to attract the attention of the guests. He increased the stoves he was using to 8 and quickly began to put on a live cooking exhibition for the guests. With just five seconds to spare, Sōma completed his 200 dish quota.
Catching his breath, Sōma was confronted by the girl who he met the previous night. She introduced herself as Erina's Danish cousin, Alice Nakiri. Alice taunted Sōma, stating that he does not have the caliber to stand at the top of Tōtsuki and told him that he barely passed the assignment. Sōma agreed that it was a close call, but he told her that he had the experience of "failure". Alice departed, telling him that she could not wait for the day she would defeat him. Just then, Gin announced that they had just four hours before the next assignment.
The Final Day
On the fifth day, the students gathered in the Main Hall once more in the evening. Most of them were exhausted from a lack of sleep and the difficult challenges over the course of the five days there. Gin entered the Hall and announced that of the 980 student who started off at the camp, 628 had made it thus far. After some inspiring words telling the students to use the experience to further their culinary journey, Gin announced the final assignment of the camp. Suddenly the doors near by opened as the Tōtsuki Resort Staff welcomed the students into the Banquet Hall. Gin announced that the 628 students there had passed the camp and the final assignment was a lavish banquet prepared by the Resort Staff and the Tōtsuki Alumni. Sōma joined the Polar Star with all eight of them who passed. Sōma enjoyed the meal and thought to himself that he was glad that his father encouraged him to enter Tōtsuki.
The next day, Sōma packed up his things and prepared to depart. In the hotel lobby, Sōma and Megumi ran into Kojirō who was preparing to return to France with the new goal of earning a 3 Michelin Star rating for his restaurant. The other Alumni gathered to see him off, but more importantly, they spoke to Megumi, hoping to recruit her to work for their restaurant. Fuyumi Mizuhara was the first one to try and scout Sōma, asking if he was interested in Italian cuisine. Hiromi Sena told Sōma that the Alumni agree to participate in the camp because it is an opportunity for them to look for potential recruits once they graduate. Hiromi then offered a job in the Resort should Sōma be interested, but he declined, saying that he belong at Restaurant Yukihira once he graduated.
After boarding the bus, Soma noticed that his signature headband had been left behind. Sōma quickly rushed back to his room, retrieved it, and then boarded the nearest bus. Unfortunately it was filled with senior citizens. Among the people on the bus was Chicken Eggs' Tokuzō. Sōma apologized for wasting his eggs from his blunder. Tokuzō pardoned Sōma as long as he exclusively bought eggs from him once Sōma has his own restaurant. However, Sōma noticed that he stayed too long on the bus and the buses back to Tōtsuki had departed. Luckily, another fellow student also had left something behind and missed the bus: Erina.
Erina reluctantly allowed Sōma into her car back to Tōtsuki. During the car ride, both of them were silent until Sōma brought up her earlier claims that he would fail the camp, much to Erina's chagrin. Sōma learned from Erina that the Tōtsuki Autumn Election was around the corner, sparking some excitement in Sōma. She told him that he would not be selected and brought up his "learning through failure" quote. She told him that chef must be perfect like a "certain man's" cooking. When Soma asked why she missed the bus, Erina denied him an answer. Seeing that there was nothing else to talk about, Sōma decided to take a nap for the rest of the car ride back.
The Karaage War
Main article: Karaage Wars Arc
Time passes and the month of June arrived, signaling the start of Sōma's summer break. With a string of holidays and administration days, Sōma returned to Sumiredōri Shopping District to air out Restaurant Yukihira. Though he did not plan on running the shop, when he opened the front of the shop, some of Sōma's former classmates and many of the Sumiredōri residents flocked to the restaurant. With his clients hoping to have a Yukihira dish after two months without it, Sōma temporarily opened the restaurant during his vacation.
The following day, Sōma noticed the barren streets as well as a downtrodden Yūya Tomita who informed Sōma that a Karaage store in the train station had been drawing attention from the shopping district as of late, causing profits in the district to sink. Hearing the plight of his hometown, Sōma took it upon himself to revive the business in the shopping district. Mayumi Kurase was volunteered by her best friend Aki Koganei to help Sōma out during his task and, more importantly, have her friend spend time with him. While planning his strategy, Sōma decided to directly challenge the threat with a Karaage dish from the district. Needing as much help as possible, Sōma decided to call an expert of meat to help him out with his challenge: Ikumi. With free time on her hands, Ikumi arrived to help Sōma during his battle, but was upset to find another girl helping out. Nevertheless, Sōma had his team assembled for the challenge and they decided for their first task that they would scope out the rival Karaage Shop.
Arriving at the train station, Sōma, Ikumi, and Mayumi arrived at the shop in question, Mozuya. As they surveyed the shop, Sōma noticed Yūya standing in line in disguise to do some scouting himself, however he was discovered by the manager Kinu Nakamozu. She gave a free Karaage sample to Sōma and his friends who were impressed by the strong flavor. When Mayumi asked how it was made, Kinu completely told her how it was made as she knew that the four of them were there to survey the competition, confident that her karaage could not be beat. However, Sōma responded to her cheekiness, saying that if the Shopping District made a better Karaage dish than hers, it would ruin Mozuya's reputation.
Returning to Restaurant Yukihira, Sōma began to create a few Karaage samples like the Cheese and Curry Karaage. Mayumi thought that his first test was delicious, but Sōma still felt that they lacked the impact to challenge Mozuya. Ikumi suggested to challenge Mozuya using other meats rather than chicken, but Sōma felt that they needed to directly face Mozuya's specialty to win back the community. Though Ikumi offered to sell some Mito A5 beef at a discounted price, Sōma turned down the offer when she told him the price.
Mayumi suggested that Sōma should make a dish that would represent the shopping district as a whole. After noticing some middle schoolers passing by the shop, returning from their school club trips. Sōma finally got a solid idea, saying that karaage is best eaten fresh. Sōma decided that the best solution was to make "a karaage that you could eat while walking". Sōma made numerous methods to allow one to eat the karaage while they walk, but he considered most of his solutions to be dull. Sōma quickly fetched some old cooking journals from his room and, with input from Ikumi's knowledge of meat, Sōma quickly began to create the best karaage he could. Yūya arrived shortly after with a Karaage Onigiri, but the idea was revoked by Ikumi and Mayumi, saying that his "idea" already exists at convenience stores. Still, the idea itself gave Sōma a brilliant idea to make a karaage that would involve the entire shopping district.
In a matter of three days, Sōma's karaage idea began to draw large crowds to Sumiredōri, all who had heard of the shopping district's newest karaage sensation, the Sumire Karaage Roll. Sōma noticed Kinu who had come to personally investigate the cause of the sudden sharp drop in sales at Mozuya. Sōma explained to her that the Karaage Roll was just a focal point of the shopping district, but the businesses around built off of the attention of the roll, cooperating and harmonizing off its success. Kinu realized that Sōma almost singlehandedly revived the district's business. Though she refused to believe that the roll could beat Mozuya's high quality karaage, Sōma handed her a roll and she realized the power of the shopping district's unity and admitted defeat. That night, just before Sōma returned to Tōtsuki, he thanked Ikumi for her assistance during the break and asked Mayumi if she would work with Yūya to make the Karaage Roll in his absence. Sōma told her that he trusted her and thought that she was reliable from what he saw during the primary and middle school years. Mayumi happily accepted and Sōma promised to cook her something when he returns to Restaurant Yukihira.
The 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
Main article:Tōtsuki Autumn Election Arc
Returning from his vacation, Sōma was informed by Satoshi that he, along with Megumi, Shun, and Zenji, had been selected to participate in the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election. Sōma decided to take a walk to begin thinking for his dish in the election. Suddenly, Sōma is summoned by a group of boys to meet Etsuya Eizan, the 9th seat of the Elite Ten. In Etsuya's office, Etsuya told Sōma that he had heard about the Sumire Karaage Roll and was impressed by it since it put Mozuya, which he was helping to operate, into financial distress. Sōma was given a lucrative offer from Etsuya to work under him, but Sōma refused as he did not want to work for anything other than Restaurant Yukihira.
Already knowing that Sōma would have refused his offer, Etsuya declared that the Autumn Election would mark the end of Sōma's "upstart." The next day, the Polar Star students gathered on campus to see the official participant postings. Along with the four that Satoshi had confirmed, Yūki and Ryōko were also selected as well as Ikumi, Takumi, and Isami. Sōma spoke with Ikumi and Takumi and the three promised to bring their best to the preliminaries. Sōma also met up with Alice who told him that all Elite Ten members once participated in the Autumn Elections and looked forward to the day the two of them would fight for the Elite Ten seats.
The Asura of Cooking
Afterwards, Sōma returned to Polar Star where, upon entering the kitchen, he found his father cooking in the kitchen. He instinctively acted the way he does at their dine before realizing his father is present and questions him. Fumio told everyone that Jōichirō is a previous Polar Star member and a 2nd seat in the Elite Ten, much to Sōma's surprise. However, Sōma surprised the dorm further by revealing that Jōichirō is his father. After a lavish meal prepared by Jōichirō, Jōichiro reveals Sōma's room, Room 303, was previously his room. Sōma found a burnt hole on the flooring that Jōichirō had pointed out.
The next day, Jōichirō woke Sōma up early and summoned him to the kitchen to test Sōma in another cooking duel. At the time Satoshi, Fumio, and Megumi were awake and the three served as judges. Tasked with the challenge of making a revitalizing breakfast, Sōma and Jōichirō began their challenge. Sōma presented his dish first, an Apple Risotto. The dish was well received by the judges, but Jōichirō's Jōichirō Special Rich Ramen ultimately won in the end because it not only revitalized the judges, but also hearty and filling. In the aftermath of the battle, Sōma is then praised by Jōichirō for how much he had grown and encouraged continue to do so. However, he took a few seconds to throw some verbal jabs at Sōma as he marked this as another loss in his journal. Just later, Yūki entered the room to reveal their dish theme for the Preliminaries: Curry.
Searching For The Curry Recipes
As Jōichirō prepared to leave, he suggested that Sōma should see Jun Shiomi, a spice expert and an old friend from the Polar Star Golden Era for input. With a map from Fumio, Sōma and Megumi eventually arrived at a remote lecture room. Entering the building, Sōma and Megumi found a young girl on the ground, busy making spice mixtures. Sōma told the girl if she could tell Jun that he had come to ask for her help as suggested by his father. As Sōma told the girl that he was Jōichirō Saiba's son, the girl immediately punched him, revealing that she is Jun Shiomi and that she did not want to remember him. As Sōma laid on the ground, a dark skinned boy with white hair entered the room.
Recovering from the punch, Jun revealed that Jōichirō used to use her as a taste tester for many of his failed dishes, causing permanent emotional trauma from the experience. Though she initially only agreed to help Megumi, thanks to her assistant, Akira Hayama, Jun decided to help Sōma out. Unfortunately, Jun became too entranced in a spice lesson and eventually stopped giving Sōma and Megumi anything useful to use as she continued to go over the science of spices. Akira brought Sōma and Megumi into the kitchen where he handed them a sample dish, a Kozhi Varutha Curry. Sōma was amazed by the fantastic taste of his dish, but Akira was not done yet. He then presented a Goa Fish Curry, which tasted even better than the first dish even though the only difference was that the spices were roasted. Finally Akira made one last dish which looked exactly the same as the Kozhi Varutha Curry, however this dish tasted even better than the two previous ones, but the only difference was that the curry used plain water instead of soup stock. Though Megumi was impressed by the dishes alone, Sōma noticed that Akira never looked at the pot as he cooked, using only the aroma to sense the delicate changes as he cooked. Akira then told Sōma that he remembered his entrance speech and has kept record of his many feats in the academy, but told him that his amusing dishes are not enough to seize the top. When Akira declared that he would be the one to stand at the top of Tōtsuki, Sōma thanked him for the food and promised to give him a curry dish at the preliminaries that would beat his, sparking another rivalry for Sōma.
Practice for the Event
Returning to the dormitory, Sōma and Megumi entered the kitchen to begin researching every single resource available about spices. The two quickly discovered that there was too much things regarding spices to learn in just a month. Though Megumi worried that they did not have enough to match Akira's skill, Sōma told her about his days at Restaurant Yukihira where his father would task him with making a new menu dish. Though Sōma did not have the skill to make something new immediately, he never let the pressure get him down and made up with what he lacked by creating a new dish anyways. The two spent several days together doing research before Megumi returned to Tōhoku to gather supplies. Sōma would spend the remaining weeks doing his own independent spice research. One morning near the end of the summer, Satoshi walked in on Sōma who had just finished his latest spice mix. Satoshi was impressed by his idea but Sōma promptly collapsed before he could tell him about the mix.
Tōtsuki Autumn Election: Preliminary Round
See also: 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
As the summer break concluded, Sōma arrived at the event hall where he was reunited with his fellow Polar Star members, the Aldini Twins, and Ikumi. Shortly after, Akira, who smelled the faint aroma of spices from Sōma's hands, arrived. The two exchanged words before Akira walked away. Soon after, Senzaemon stepped onto the stage and gave a speech regarding the legacy behind the very hall they were standing in before starting the preliminaries. Sōma bid farewell to Megumi, Yūki, and the Aldini Twins as He, Ikumi, Ryōko, Shun, and Zenji departed to the "A" Block.
In the "A" Block, most of his fellow participants were hard at work making their curry dishes. The head judge of the "A" Block, Natsume Sendawara, arrived and began to scope out potential stand outs. When Sōma finally caught her attention, he was sitting on a stool, fast asleep. However the faint aroma from his pot awoke him as Akira came over to check on him. Sōma revealed that he was making a risotto at the time. Akira sensed something special in his risotto but he could not pinpoint it. The two promised to exchange dishes to find out who was superior.
As time expired, Sōma finished his dish and gathered with his fellow "A" Block participants. As each student presented their dishes, Sōma watched as each one earn incredibly low scores, all of which was unable to earn a single point from Natsume. After a long period of disappointing scores, Ryō Kurokiba presented his dish and was the first to earn a score over 50, with a 93. One by one, more dishes were presented to the judges, each earning scores over 80 points.
Finally, Akira presented his dish, a Curry Fish Head in Naan Pot Pie Soup. Akira handed Sōma a spoon and a portion of his dish. As Sōma pressed his spoon into the naan, the crust broke, releasing a powerful aroma explosion. As Sōma ate the dish, he began to pick out its secrets including the rare holy basil and yogurt combination to entice him to eat more. The judges awarded Akira 94 points, with Natsume and Makito Minatozaka giving him a perfect 20 score each, making him the leader of the "A" Block. Sōma stepped up and presented his dish, a Curry Risotto Omurice. Like Akira's dish, pressing a spoon into his dish caused an aroma explosion. The judges were amazed by his creative dish, including Natsume. When the scores came in, Sōma had earned 93 points from the judges, putting Sōma in second place with Ryō. Though the crowd believed that in the end Akira was the ultimate victor, Akira noticed that though he had one more point, the judge's point spread was different; Akira had two perfect 20's from Natsume and Makito and three 18 point scores from the other three judges, Sōma on the other hand had two 18s from Natsume and Makito and three 19s from the other three judges. Together with Akira, Ryō and an an unnamed student, Sōma advanced to the Main Tournament.
Road to the Main TournamentWith the conclusion of the Preliminary Round, a party was held at Polar Star for Sōma and Megumi for qualifying for the Main Tournament. During the party, Sōma stepped outside to the balcony where he reflected on the results of the Preliminaries. He told Megumi that he was disappointed in himself for losing to Akira by one point and voiced his desire to become even stronger before returning to the party. In the same time, he also praised Megumi for her presentation. Back at the party, Satoshi told Sōma about the business he runs with the vegetables grown at Polar Star and asked if Sōma and Megumi would like to join him, which they accepted. The next morning, Sōma and Megumi awoke to find Satoshi in a business suit, ready for his business meeting. They arrived at DEF Kitchen which held cooking classes for housewives and children. Satoshi asked Sōma and Megumi to take care of the children. Though they were a handful at first, they managed to catch the children's attention with their skills and the class thanked them afterwards for teaching them.
The day before the Main Tournament, Sōma was summoned to Tōtsuki Main Office to receive the information for his first round match up. As he entered an office, he was greeted by Erina, Etsuya, and Satoshi, who informed him that his first round theme was a bento dish. Though he was surprised by the simplistic theme, Erina surprised him further when she explained that even the "B-Class" Bento is recognized worldwide as a potential "A Class" dish. Suddenly, the doors opened to reveal Sōma's first opponent: Alice Nakiri. She told Sōma that it was a shame that she would only get to see one of his dishes in the Main Tournament, but Sōma quipped that she can see his other dishes while she watches him in the second round onwards.
Returning to Polar Star, Sōma began to plan out his bento for the duel. Ryōko decided to assist Sōma as he prepared his dish, a Nori Bento. Much to Ryōko's shock when she found out that Alice was his first opponent, Sōma made his first prototype nori bento. Though Ryōko found it delicious, Sōma was unsatisfied with the results. He told Ryōko that he chose the Nori bento theme due to the cohesiveness of the unlimited flavor possibilities. Deciding to watch some preliminary round tapes, he focused on Alice's Thermal Sense Curry dish, which had earned her the highest score overall. He needed to beat her not only in flavor, but presentation as well. Ryōko noticed some candy that the DEF Kitchen children had given him and Sōma suddenly had an idea from the candies to create a certain aspect of surprise.
Tōtsuki Autumn Election: Main Tournament
The next day, Sōma walked into the arena as many of the culinary officials were surprised to see an "unnamed" student make it into the Main Tournament. Alice walked in next, much to the surprise of Sōma's supporters. As she unveiled her vast array of equipment for the match, Alice taunted Sōma. Sōma told her that he felt no pressure and was motivated more than ever now that he's facing a strong opponent. During the cooking period, Sōma noticed Alice's cutting skills, which seemed to contradict her earlier statements against artisan skills. However, Alice rebuffed him, calling him rude for staring at her in her kitchen, though Sōma reminded her that she did the same thing back in the Training Camp.
Alice presented her dish first, a Temari Bento, and it received praise from the judges for the exquisite taste. Even with Alice's presentation that stunned all of the students, who assumed Alice was too skilled to beat, Sōma remained unfazed as he cooked his dish. Senzaemon was pleased to know that there was still a cook who had the mettle to challenge an uncompromising opponent.
Sōma followed up by presenting his Evolved Nori Bento. The judges were surprised that Sōma used a layered bento box instead of a square container. Alice and Sōma exchanged a few words as the judges ate his bento, until Alice's insulted his "common scheme". Sōma asked Alice in response if she ever considered "what is supposed to go inside a bento box". As the judges opened the final bento box, Sōma told Alice that he'd show her the true power of his "evolved" bento.
The judges opened the final box to find mysterious black drops on the rice. Sōma revealed that these black drops were Nori Flavor Bombs. Alice asked Sōma how he knew a Molecular Gastronomy technique, to which Sōma took out a cheap candy maker that one of the DEF Kitchen children had given to him. Despite the simple item, it provided him the ingredients necessary to replicate the Molecular Gastronomy style. The entertaining idea caused the judges to relive the excitement of eating a bento in their youth. Finally a Kudzu Sauce was unveiled and added to the Nori Bento. As the judges continued to enjoy Sōma's Nori Bento to its fullest, Alice asked Sōma again about his "heart" in the dish statement from earlier. Surprisingly, Senzaemon stepped in an answered, telling her that Sōma did not only focus on the technical side of the dish, but the emotional aspect as well. Sōma handed her a sample of his dish to help her understand what he meant. As Alice ate his dish, recalling memories of her childhood, Senzaemon declared that Sōma was the victor of the match, much to the shock of the audience. After the results were finalized, Sōma watched as Alice collapsed on the floor to cry. Sōma kindly offered to help her stand, but not before telling her that he's one step closer to the top. Alice angrily told Sōma that she will not relinquish the top to anyone else before she stormed out of the arena.
Sōma headed into the waiting area where Megumi was preparing for her match. Sōma told Megumi that she seemed more calm than she used to be. Sōma told her that she had come a long way since their first class together and wished her good luck as she entered the arena. Sōma entered the stands and joined the rest of the Polar Star residents to cheer for Megumi in her first round match against Ryō Kurokiba. In the middle of the battle, Alice joined the Polar Star residents to cheer for Ryō, much to Sōma and the others' surprise. As Megumi cooked and presented her dish to the judges, Sōma smiled at her newfound confidence and vast improvement. However, despite Megumi's best efforts, she lost the match. After the first day of the main tournament ended, Sōma congratulated Megumi for her excellent performance, despite her loss.
Sōma overslept on the second day of the Main Tournament and arrived at the stadium as the first match between Hisako and Akira was already in progress. Upon his arrival, Sōma met the mysterious 8th Main Tournament participant, Subaru Mimasaka. Though he felt initially cautions of his new rival, Sōma quickly became acquainted with Subaru and even felt that he was a nice guy by his "honorable" nature. Entering the arena, Sōma met up with Megumi and the two attempted to head to the audience section but ended up getting lost. Luckily, Subaru found them and invited them into the waiting area where Takumi was already waiting. As the four watched the match, Sōma was amazed by Hisako's surprising dish choice. However, despite an impressive response from the judges, Akira's burger shifted the entire attention of the audience to him. As Sōma and Takumi noticed this, Subaru preemptively and successfully predicted that Akira would win this match. Sōma and Megumi were sent to their seats in the stands as Takumi and Subaru was cued for their match. On his way out, Takumi told Sōma that the tournament will settle the score between them from the Training Camp. Mirroring the end of their previous duel, Sōma told Takumi that he will wait to see who will crush who in their eventual match. Before the start of Takumi's match, a surprising announcement was made: the last quarterfinal match will be a Shokugeki. Takumi put up his prized Mezzaluna as compensation and lost it and the match, meaning that his rematch with Takumi will not take place in the Main Tournament.
Road to the Semifinals
Main article: Yukihira Vs. Mimasaka Semifinal Shokugeki
Sōma, however, seemed indifferent and decided to return to Polar Star without seeing Takumi. As he opened his door, Subaru was already inside waiting as he had made a duplicate key for Sōma's room. Though the Polar Star residents were disturbed by Subaru's infiltration, Sōma invited Subaru to enjoy a meal prepared by him.
During their meal, Subaru informed him that he will be his opponent for the semifinals with a western dish as the theme for both matches. As with Subaru's Quarterfinal match, he convinced Sōma to accept a Shokugeki for their match with his knife on the line in exchange for Takumi's recently relinquished Mezzaluna if he lost.In a further attempt to rile up Sōma, Subaru called Takumi "pathetic" hoping that Sōma would angrily defend him. Instead, Sōma called Subaru the pathetic chef and then changed the conditions of their match. The return of all 100 knives Subaru had won from his Shokugekis if he lost while Sōma decided to quit being a chef forever if he lost. Though most of Sōma's supporters were vocal about his reckless challenge, Sōma was set on his decision, saying that he refused to lose to someone who did not know "the joy of cooking". Knowing that Subaru would scout him anyways, Sōma informed him that he will prepare a beef stew, much like the one they were eating.
The next morning, Sōma was visited by Mitsuru Sōtsuda, a Middle School Section student from the Newspaper Club. To his surprise, Sōma saw that the Newspaper Club already caught wind of the Semifinal Shokugeki and word quickly spread across campus. Mitsuru asked Sōma if he could follow during the week leading up to make an article, but Sōma refused. However, Mitsuru still continued to tail him anyways. Throughout the week, many of his classmates, as well as the Newspaper Club, called Sōma's Shokugeki a losing effort. Nevertheless, Sōma was too focused on planning his meal to care about his classmates whispering behind his back. Mitsuru caught up with Sōma and followed him into a kitchen that Sōma reserved to prepare for his match. He whipped up a plate of Beef Stew for Mitsuru to taste test. Despite Mitsuru's praise, Sōma informed him that it was not the finished product and was the one that he had showed to Subaru. When Mitsuru asked why he showed Subaru his dish, Sōma explained that he did that to create a starting line for both to stand on even grounds, thus allowing the duel to be a true test of creativity. Through trials and errors, Sōma still found the dish not good enough, even with Mitsuru eating. According to him, unlike his previous battle against Ikumi and Alice, battling Subaru was like facing himself in battle. In order to get some good critcism, Sōma went looking for the best person to taste test his dish.
Sōma and Mitsuru went to Nakiri mansion to find Erina and asked for her opinion of his dish. Erina initially refused, but before Sōma was about to leave, he noticed that she was holding a Shojo manga. After slipping a comment that one of the Polar Star residents had the complete collection, Erina quickly decided to help since she was looking for the next volume. As Sōma gave her a sample to try, Erina quickly picked out the dish's ingredients without taking a bite and after doing so, she informed him that it was good for a special-of-the-day shop, but not for the tournament. Erina cryptically told Sōma that he did not understand the theme of the match, but before he could inquire further, Erina refused to give him any more help. On his way out, Erina told him to ask his dormmate to send her the next volume of the manga she was reading as payment for her services. Though it seemed that Erina did not give him enough critique, Sōma seemed to have found something from what little information he was given.
During his final days, Sōma silently sat in the Polar Star Kitchen as he tried to think how he could improve his stew. Mitsuru informed him that the judges will be the Tōtsuki Alumni including Gin, Hinako, and Fuyumi. After, Ikumi dropped by and gave Sōma some high quality meat for his match. As he looked over the meat he was given, he found a strange piece that he initially thought that he could not use. However, Sōma reflected on the past week and finally had a good idea to improve his dish. He promptly kicked Mitsuru out of the kitchen to prevent his idea from leaking out.
On the day of the semifinals, Sōma managed to see Isami before heading into the Arena and told him to tell Takumi to watch his match. Upon his arrival, Mitsuru asked him about his strategy against Subaru. However, Sōma told Mitsuru that he did not know yet and he would enjoy cooking as usual. While entering the Arena, Sōma received cheers from the crowd as he faced Subaru before their battle started.
During the match, the control of it constantly switched between Sōma and Subaru. Every time it had seemed that Sōma managed to surprise Subaru, Subaru continuously revealed that he knew what Sōma had been doing up until the minute the cooking period began. Sōma used Beef Tail as the basis for his stew as did Subaru. Even when he brought out his cooler of various beef parts, Subaru revealed that he knew about the purchase of those parts even though Sōma had only bought them the morning of the match. Nevertheless, Sōma continued to cook unfazed by the extent of Subaru's stalking, even leaving the arena for a little while to fetch a Shichirin. Subaru presented his Beef Stew with Bacon Garnish first as he said Sōma's catchphrase, much to Sōma's annoyance. Subaru's dish was well received by the judges and he viciously taunted Sōma, saying that even though he knew about Subaru's tactics, he still could not escape his scope and finished by telling Sōma to enjoy his final moments as a chef.
Sōma was a bit shaken, but he informed Subaru that he too had done some research on him himself. Sōma opened his Shichirin which released a large cloud of smoke the spread throughout the arena. As Subaru was enveloped by it, he noticed that he had broken into cold sweat, unable to comprehend what he was so afraid of even though he knew all of Sōma's moves. Sōma presented his dish to the judges. At first, it had seemed that his dish was nothing more than a random assortment of beef parts similar to Yakiniku, but Sōma assured the judges that the beef parts were actually his garnish. After a single bite, the judges were engrossed by the harmonious flavors of the dish. Taki Tsunozaki felt that she was riding a wild roller-coaster with each different beef part sending her on various twists and turns. Subaru, who had thought that Sōma had ad libbed his entire dish, could not understand how he could have such cohesion. Sōma explained that he took Chikuzenni as a basis for the arrangement, focusing on careful preparation of each individual part of the stew then arranging it to blend harmoniously with the other parts. While Subaru had assumed that Sōma had not thought about his dish until the match, in reality, Sōma never stopped thinking, thus preventing Subaru from truly seeing what Sōma would make. Impressed by Sōma's creativity and tenacity, he was unanimously declared the victor of the match, handing Subaru his first loss.
With the results of the Shokugeki finalized, Hisanao Kageura entered the Arena while holding two documents: Sōma's expulsion notice and his contract to quit cooking. Hisanao tore both documents as Subaru still could not accept that Sōma escaped his Perfect Trace. As usual, Sōma handed him his stew to show why he won. With a single bite, Subaru was reminded of how he eventually came to Tōtsuki and why he became the man he was. As the result for Sōma's victory, a large metal container was brought in, containing all 100 knives Subaru had collected over the years. Immediately, a large wave of students stormed onto the cooking floor to retrieve their knives. One girl in particular thanked Sōma for returning a knife that was a memento from her late mother. Subaru accepted his defeat and decided to leave Tōtsuki and quit being a chef, but Sōma immediately chopped him on the head and told him that doing so would make the Shokugeki pointless. He then called Takumi to reclaim his Mezzaluna, but he refused and told Sōma to hold onto the knife until he could reclaim it in their own Shokugeki.
Sōma told Subaru that all chefs are sore losers. He further explained that even when they experience a situation that shatters their confidence, a chef will always be ready to open their restaurant the next day. His encouraging speech moved Subaru who smiled and realized that he could still continue to cook even though he lost. Before leaving the Arena, Sōma decided to talk to Erina one more time, reminding her that he is a single match away from being able to challenge her.
Sōma joined Erina in her viewing booth to watch Ryō and Akira's match and was later joined by Alice. During the match, Sōma asked both of them for their opinions about Akira and Ryō's dishes and cooking styles. After an intense match, the judges were split, with two votes each for Akira and Ryō, and the final judge unable to decisively choose. Sōma noticed that Erina had suddenly appeared in the arena area with Satoshi and Etsuya. To his surprise, the Final Match of the Autumn Election was changed into a three-way duel between him, Akira, and Ryō.
Road to the Finals
Immediately after the announcement, Sōma was swarmed by the T.S. Newspaper club asking him about his feelings towards the new Finals format. Sōma boldly declared that he was happy with the format, saying that he would finally get his chance to properly defeat Akira and Ryō since the former got one more point than him in the preliminaries while the latter tied. Satoshi then entered the arena, wheeling out a large block of ice which he promptly smashed to reveal the main ingredient of the final round: Pacific Saury, a fish that would bring out the strong points in each of the finalists, in Sōma's case, his appeal to dishes that can serve the masses.
With ten days to prepare for the finals, Sōma decided to spend his first day at a riverside fish market with his shichirin to begin his dish selection with Megumi tagging along. At the fish Market, Sōma and Megumi encountered Ryō and Alice who had come to prepare for the finals themselves. As he eyed out the saury with the best qualities, Sōma displayed some basic knowledge and picked the longest saury that stood straight rather than limping over. Ryō, however, informed him that his choice was not the best one and chose a smaller one with a less puffy belly, confusing Megumi. To prove his point, Ryō and Sōma prepared a sashimi of their saury. Megumi tasted both sashimi and with one bite from each, Ryō's was deemed more delicious. Alice explained that the rigor index of the fish was the reason why Sōma lost. Although his was firm, his fish had been sitting out longer, causing him to mistake the "rigor mortis" state of the fish for freshness. Ryō told Sōma that he regularly comes to fish markets to hone his fish judgement skills and will not lose to someone with only fundamental knowledge. Meanwhile another saleswoman informed Sōma that Akira had paid the fish market before he came and picked two of the market's best saury without having to touch them. It was at this moment that Sōma became aware of the huge handicap he would have for the match as he did not have the same judging skills like his two opponents.
Sōma and Megumi spent the rest of the day at the fish market making prototype dishes, but none could compare to Ryō's sashimi from that morning. Knowing that their saury will be chosen the morning of the match, Sōma accepted that there was no reasonable way to learn to judge fish on the level of his opponents by the day of the match. Sōma decided that rather than learning to judge fish, he would change the preparation of the saury by enlisting help from Ryōko, Shun, and Ikumi for their knowledge of different curing methods. After spending 3 days with their respective curing methods separately, Sōma prepared three samples of the saury. Although each curing method improved the saury, Megumi and Sōma noted that each still did not match the fresh saury Ryō had prepared. Sōma was unsure what to do to close the gap, whether to continue to search for another curing method or put his all into learning how to judge fish. Wandering through the dormitory, Sōma found Fumio who was busy having an evening drink. Looking at the table of food she had, Sōma had an epiphany. Two days prior to the match, Sōma finally made a satisfying prototype.
Finally, the day of the Finals arrived, but at the market, Sōma was nowhere in sight when Akira and Ryō bought their pacific saury for their match. Unlike the previous matches, the Finals was held during the evening. Sōma, Akira, and Ryō entered the arena and headed to their station. Akira and Ryō immediately pulled out their pacific saury, which glistened in the light. However, when it was Sōma's turn to pull out his saury, his was covered by a thick coating of beige powder. Akira and Ryō felt insulted by his supposed cockiness with his saury and immediately congratulated him for his "3rd place" effort. The judges for the finals then revealed themselves, consisting of Gin Dōjima, Senzaemon Nakiri, and Leonora Nakiri, Alice's mother. Leonora was interested to see what Sōma had in store for her since he defeated her daughter in the quarterfinals. As the roof opened, the vast night sky could be seen just as the moon started to emerge above the arena. With the path of the moon as the timer for the match, the Finals began.
The three participants quickly set off to work once the Moon fully emerged above the arena. Sōma began his preparation by preparing his other ingredient base. However, he was the first to touch his saury, quickly washing off the mysterious powder, much to Ryō and Akira's curiosity. Sōma continued to cook his saury on his shichirin and prepare his dish as Ryō and Akira presented their dishes before him, both of which were well received by the judges. With time ticking down, Sōma finally finished his dish and presented it to the judges. Sōma's finished product was a takikomi gohan, perfect to entice those whose diet consists of rice as the base. The judges were impressed by the permeation of the saury's flavor in their mouths and could even stand up to Ryō and Akira's dishes. Curious, Ryō stuck his hand into Sōma's cooler to find rice bran. Sōma used the bran for Nuka Sanma, a Hokkaido based dish to prepare fish which increases nutritional value and enhances the taste. Sōma revealed that he had spent the remaining time he had since his epiphany curing as much sauries as he could to produce the best possible Nuka Sanma for his dish. It had seemed that Sōma found his ticket to match Akira and Ryō, however the crowd noticed that Senzaemon had not stripped off his haori. Sōma politely asked the judges if they wanted seconds, however none of them moved. Just as Gin declared that the judging round was over, Sōma interjected.
Sōma brandished a pot, stating that they should hold off the judging until they try his dish with the contents of the pot on it. Senzaemon was interested enough to give Sōma's dish a second taste. With the white liquid, revealed to be soy milk, Sōma transformed his takikomi gohan into a Oja-Style Pacific Saury Takikomi Gohan. Thanks to Sōma's soy milk blend and pickled plums, the ingredients blended harmoniously which made the entire audience see that even though Sōma had no special talent like Akira or Ryō, he was fighting them on equal terms. The judges were impressed by Sōma's dish with Leonora blissfully remembering her courtship with her husband. All that was left, was the judges to choose their winner.
The judges handed praise to each of the finalists; commending Sōma in particular for his creativity which was easily the best out of the three. However, even with Sōma's impressive creativity, it was not enough for him to win the match. Akira was declared the winner of the 43rd Autumn Election with Sōma and Ryō placing second. Although upset with the result, Sōma asked for a sample of Akira's Scorched Pacific Saury Carpaccio, which he complied. Sōma admitted that his dish was great but he sensed something in Akira's dish that he lacked in his.
Reuniting with the Polar Star members, they all congratulated Sōma for his admirable performance. Just as he left the arena, he received a phone call from his father, asking about the results of the match. Sōma told his father that he was glad to have left home to attend Tōtsuki. From that moment forward, Sōma vowed to continue searching for something to make his cooking even more special, although he felt that he was already doing just that. Although Sōma did not hear his father's thoughts, Jōichirō stated that Sōma would continue to grow as long as he continued to meet the right individuals as he has so far in Tōtsuki.
Main article: Stagiaire Arc
A week after the Autumn Election's conclusion, Sōma had made numerous trips to Shiomi Seminar alongside Ryō to continue to evaluate each others' dishes so that he can improve himself. During one visit, Jun informed Sōma that the Stagiaire event would soon begin and warned him that, like the Training Camp, all of the students would have to make a "visible result" at the locations that they would be performing their Stagiaire, or else face expulsion.
Western Cuisine Mitamura
Several days later, Sōma left Tōtsuki to go to his first Stagiaire location. On his way there, he encountered Hisako Arato who had been assigned to the same location as him, much to her chagrin. The two eventually arrived at their destination just as a crowd of angry patrons stormed out of the restaurant. The two met the owner of Western Cuisine Mitamura, Mamoru Mitamura and they immediately began to prepare for their first day.
Just as they finished preparing, Sōma attempted to establish some order for the upcoming meal rush, but Hisako confidentially informed him that she had no trouble during the training camp and that she has not failed a single course. Still Sōma asked if she ever dealt with a situation in a restaurant where the order amount was unknown. Immediately, a new crowd of customers entered and filled the entire restaurant. With great difficulty, the customer's orders were filled and the restaurant was quickly vacated. Still, there was no time to rest as the next wave of patrons stormed the restaurant. Much to Hisako and the restaurant staff's surprise, Sōma was already taking orders from the customers and relayed the orders without a single delay. Seeing the kitchen orders pile up, Sōma tasked Hisako with taking orders as he began to cook the meals himself. By the end of the day, the restaurant managed to fulfill every single order. The restaurant staff thanked the two for their hard work. Hisako received a sudden slap on the back as Sōma commended her on a job well done as he could not wait for the next day, much to Hisako's embarrassment.
Over the course of the first three days, thanks to Sōma's and Hisako's hard work, Western Cuisine Mitamura was operating smoothly. Mamoru confided with Sōma and Hisako that he hopes that the restaurant will one day regain its former glory. Although Hisako believed that they were doing just fine, Sōma felt that they had yet to make a "visible" result at the restaurant. Sōma asked her if Western Cuisine Mitamura was a place she would want to work at. Hisako did not answer. Hisako realized soon after that the improvements to the restaurant would only last as long as they were there. Upon realizing this, Sōma and Hisako gathered the restaurant staff to come up with a plan. Sōma suggested to make the restaurant only available if the patrons make a prior reservation. Although hesitant to try this due to the forced decrease in customer walk-ins, the method was immediately put into action. The results were immediate and thanks to Sōma and Hisako's hard work, Kazune Nishizono informed them that they passed the first assignment. Before leaving Western Cuisine Mitamura, Sōma asked Hisako if she would be returning to Erina soon. Hisako admitted that she was always fine following behind Erina and that Akira was right about her during their match. Sōma told her to try and stand beside Erina instead as he handed her a bag with the manga that Erina had asked from Sōma. As he watched Hisako leave, Sōma thought about how he had been following in his father's footsteps and vowed to continue growing.
The next day, Sōma went to his second Stagiaire location, Shino's Tokyo, a new restaurant in Japan opened by none other than Kojirō as a part of his restaurant chain. Knowing that he needed to make a "visible" improvement, Sōma knew he would have to accomplish this in an unconventional way with Kojirō in charge. Sōma did not have much time to think as Kojirō immediately shoved some work clothes and tools since Shino's Tokyo still needed to complete the interior design. After meeting all of the staff, Sōma asked Kojirō why he was opening a restaurant in Tokyo despite the fact that he was still improving things in his restaurant in France. Kojirō returned the question, which Sōma stated that he was looking for his own specialty. Kojirō told Sōma that his new Tokyo branch was for him to reach a new height of his own. Taking a short break, Kojirō made his Quiche De Légumes Oubliés which astounded the staff and Sōma. However, as Sōma watched Kojirō take a bite of his quiche, Kojirō muttered that it was still no good, much to Sōma's shock. Kojirō assured Sōma that he would get closer to his "specialty" as long as he could keep up with the workload ahead. Sōma readily accepted his challenge.
Completing the interior work, Shino's Tokyo's pre-opening week would begin the next day. For the next few days, Shino's Tokyo would undergo a trial period, building up their reputation while adjusting their menu to suit the future patrons of the restaurant. Kojirō also informed Sōma and the staff that there would be a Staff dish competition on the last day. Sōma decided that he would use that competition as a way of leaving a visible improvement for his Stagiaire second stage. As the first day of the pre-opening week began, Sōma had no trouble with the preparation work however, once the first customer came in, an unsettling air had filled the kitchen. As the meal courses progressed, although used to a restaurant kitchen setting, Sōma began to fall behind the pace of the courses. Sōma was reprimanded for his actions by the Head-Chef Abel Blondin who refused to acknowledge him as a member of the team. Sōma apologized for his mistake and resolved to improve enough to be considered a member of the main crew. Over the course of the week, Sōma quickly learned everything he could in order to keep up with the crew. By the end of the week, Sōma was able to finish orders before the others had to tell him. On the last day, Sōma asked Kojirō why he specialized in French cuisine. Although Kojirō did not tell him the reason why, Sōma learned that he opened his shop in Japan because he wanted to reestablish his roots on his way to his 3 Michelin Star rating.
Finally, Sōma asked if he could participate in the dish contest, stating that he spent the entire week designing his dish. Sōma created a quail dish that utilized the concepts of a donburi as the basis for it. Kojirō was visibly impressed by the depth and blending of flavors. Abel was curious as to how Sōma managed to stuff the dish properly, which was revealed to be cabbage, taking inspiration from Kojirō's Chou Farci. Kojirō commended Sōma on his dish, but informed him that he could not put the dish on his menu, at least in its current state. Kojirō offered to teach Sōma how he would cook his dish in his style and Sōma gladly accepted the offer. Spending a few hours, Sōma learned from Kojirō and thanked him by calling him "master" much to his embarrassment. The next morning, Kojirō bid farewell to Sōma and told him to seize the top of Tōtsuki. A few days later, Shino's Tokyo had its official opening with Kojirō's rendition of Sōma's donburi dish, Quail Stuffed with Risotto and Eggs ~Brazen Youngster Style~ on the menu as a specialty.
After two more weeks of the Stagiaire, Sōma completed all of his Stagiaire assignments and was the first Polar Star member to return to the dormitory. Upon arrival, Fumio directed Sōma to his mailbox where it was stuffed full of letters, most of which were Shokugeki challenges. Before Sōma could even read one, a visitor burst into the dormitory: Tetsuji Kabutoyama. After watching Sōma's performance in the Autumn Election, Tetsuji was set on challenging Sōma no matter what. Undeterred, Sōma accepted the challenge and asked to have the Shokugeki at that very moment. He even told Fumiō to accept all the challenges that were in his mailbox.
Moon Banquet FestivalAutumn Leaf Viewing by Satoshi. Upon hearing that he would meet the entire Elite Ten, Sōma expressed some excitement in the hopes of challenging one of them to a Shokugeki for their seat.
Autumn Leaf ViewingAt the event, Sōma along with the other Autumn Election Main Tournament participants waited for the Elite Ten to arrive. As the Elite Ten settled down, Sōma immediately asked if anyone would have a Shokugeki against him, much to everyone's shock. However, Etsuya, Terunori, and Nene immediately refused. Terunori explained the true power of an Elite Ten's seat and stated that the current first years did not give them any sort of reason to challenge them yet. However, before the Elite Ten left, Sōma was told by Tenrunori that if he could beat him in any form of cooking, he will accept his Shokugeki challenge. This only caused Sōma and the others' fighting spirits to be kindled. As he left the premise with Megumi to return to Polar Star, Megumi told Sōma about the last fall event: The Moon Banquet Festival.
Preparation For War
Sōma took an immediate interest in the event, wanting to challenge Terunori in particular due to his statement during the Autumn Leaf Viewing. Since Terunori's specialty was Chinese Cuisine, Sōma sought the help of the 92nd Generation's Chinese Cuisine expert, Miyoko Hōjō. When Sōma told her that he currently had no staff for his booth, Miyoko told him to visit the Chinese Cuisine RS. There Sōma witnessed the club in action, working woks with raw rice to practice. Noticing their presence, Terunori came over and wondered why they were there. Sōma informed him that he was setting up a booth and was looking for menu ideas. Terunori, intrigued by Sōma, instructed 10 of his members to cook the club's signature Mapo Doufu. Sōma watched as each member produced the same dish with extreme speed and precision. With a single bite, Sōma was amazed by the spiciness. Even more so, each dish had the exact same impact. Terunori taunted Sōma, stating that he will need to have 1,000 customers a day. Without a staff or a menu, Sōma would need to work hard to meet this quota.
Returning to Polar Star, Satoshi was hoping that Sōma would help at his stand, but Sōma still wanted to work on his own. Learning that Terunori's booth will be in the central area, Sōma began planning his plan of attack, starting off by setting up his booth directly across from the Chinese Cuisine RS booth, even declaring that his booth's theme will be Chinese Cuisine as well. With his declaration set, Sōma was ready, but Erina informed him that if he had a loss of income at the end of the event, he would be expelled. With two weeks to prepare, Sōma needed to plan his menu as soon as possible. Visiting the Don RS club, Ikumi volunteered to help out if she was not busy with the Don RS booth. Next, Sōma paid Erina a visit at the Nakiri mansion to get some input on his dish. Though Erina did not want to do so, Hisako told him that she had an hour of spare time. With a single taste, Erina informed him that his dish lacked the explosive spiciness that Terunori's club specializes in. Back at Polar Star, Megumi volunteered to work with Sōma during the event. Later, the two got permission from the head of Chinese cuisine study to borrow a portable cart thanks to Miyoko. A few days before the festival, Sōma unveiled his first plan of attack: Hujiao Bing.
Though he finally was able to defeat Terunori and the Chinese Cuisine RS on the final day, Sōma was left unsatisfied that his plan to defeat him did not go as planned. Nevertheless, his surprising defeat over Terunori caught the attention of Rindō Kobayashi, the current second seat of the Elite Ten Council, invited Sōma and Megumi to come with her to experience Eishi Tsukasa's cooking. At his booth, Sōma was amazed by the cohesion of each successive piece of Eishi's meal set. After enjoying his time with the first seat, Sōma decided to pay Erina's booth a visit so he could give her a Hujiao Bing. Upon arrival, he saw some of the former judges of the Autumn Election preliminaries as well as a mysterious man, Azami Nakiri, Erina's father. Wanting to eat there, he casually asked Azami if entourage of cars lead by Senzaemon Nakiri. As the two bickered about their respective culinary doctrine, Rindō had arrived at Erina's booth and asked Sōma which one he would side with. Not knowing what was going on, he said he could not choose. It did not matter as immediately afterward, Azami brandished an official letter signed by the Elite Ten Council to place Azami as the new Director of Tōtsuki, much to the shock of everyone there.
Main Article: Central Arc
Just a few days later, news quickly spread across the academy of the new director appointment. Returning to his dormitory, Fumiō informed Sōma that he had a visitor. At his room, Sōma was surprised to see Senzaemon sitting in the room. Initially shocked to see the former director in his room, Senazemon revealed that he was the one who persuaded Jōichirō to send Sōma to Tōtsuki. Needing to talk to Sōma, Senzaemon invited him to accompany him on his daily exercise routine. During their jog, Senzaemon revealed much of Erina's dark past involving her father in which she was subjected to a cruel training regime to improve her God's Tongue. Though Senzaemon put a stop to it by exiling Azami from Tōtsuki, Azami's return put Erina at risk of losing herself to her father's deranged ideals once more. Senzaemon pleaded with Sōma to help him save Erina from her father. Mulling over Senzaemon's request and Erina's history, Sōma stated that her plight was of no concern to him. However, he told Senzaemon that his goal since they met at the Spring Orientation was to have Erina admit that his food was good, passively accepting Senzaemon's request. Returning back to Polar Star, Sōma saw Erina who was smuggled out the Nakiri Mansion for her own safety from her father. Sōma and the others quickly warmed up to Erina's temporary stay at the dormitory and took advantage of her God's Tongue ability, wanting to have her critique their dishes. Sōma was among them, but Erina bluntly refused. Nevertheless, Sōma went to make a dish under the suggestion of his fellow residents.
The next day, Azami, now in full control of Tōtsuki, took no time putting his new culinary doctrine into practice, effectively abolishing all Research Societies and independent organizations in Tōtsuki. As a result, Polar Star was ordered to be closed down, as it posed a threat to the new system of Tōtsuki. With Etsuya as the envoy for the task, Sōma invited him into the dormitory to tea in order to sway him into reversing the decision. With the decision final, Sōma had no choice but to ask if a Shōkugeki was viable to overturn the decision. Though Etsuya stated that the rules of a Shokugeki still remained, including the fact that he could refuse the challenge, Etsuya told Sōma that he had accepted all challenges thus far and in fact had an upcoming match against Tetsuji. Cryptically telling Sōma to watch his "lesson" during the match, Sōma and much of the entire campus watched Etsuya and Tetsuji's match.
With the match underway, Sōma noticed that Etsuya was not even putting effort into his dish. When it came down to the judging round, the judges immediately declared Etsuya the winner without even tasting his dish. With the judges fixed to vote for him, no amount of effort from Tetsuji could stop him as he was immediately expelled as a result. Etsuya smugly looked at the camera filming the match as Sōma realized that the Shokugeki had been tainted. With no hope of opposing the new system, Sōma watched as his fellow dormmates cried in despair as their beloved dorm was to be closed inevitably. Recalling a conversation he had with his father during his visit to the dorm, Sōma decided to confront Etsuya the next day and, despite the consequences of losing in a heavily biased match, Sōma wanted to challenge him to a Shokugeki for his own benefits.
Battle for Polar Star
Main Article: Yukihira Vs. Eizan Shokugeki
With the Shokugeki approved by the board, Sōma arrived at the venue with his opponent. Etsuya made it clear that the judges were biased once more and more importantly, he had sent a small army of his goons to evict the Polar Star residents out of the dormitory that day. Despite his intention to apply pressure onto him, Sōma merely brushed off Etsuya's news and officially began the challenge, stating that their theme would be Jidori Chicken. As Sōma started cooking his dish, deciding to prepare it into a gyoza, Etsuya sat back as his waited for the confirmation of the eviction. Etsuya soon called them out of frustration and found out that the Polar Star residents had been repelling them. Sōma told him that Etsuya has only been coming at him indirectly through sneaky methods. Knowing that there was only one way to make Sōma submit, Etsuya decided to pit his full cooking prowess against him to accomplish that.
With Etsuya properly motivated, Sōma put his all into his dish in order to defeat Etsuya. After a strong presentation by Etsuya as well as the judges continual belittling of Sōma, he managed to prevent the judges from passing down a preemptive judgement by taunting Etsuya, declaring that he was too scared to face him head on. Even after finishing his dish, one of the judges refused to eat his dish, but the aroma alone enticed the other two. His Cheese-Feathered Hanetsuki Gyōza managed to silence Etsuya and the judges as well. Handing a sample to Rindō, who had crashed the Shokugeki, she immediately discovered that his dish's secret was an ankake made of ketchup, an idea spurred from his fellow Polar Star residents. Unable to lie about their true feelings, the judges unanimously voted in favor of Sōma. Although Sōma had won, he was disappointed with the match since Etsuya had only made a dish in the spur of the moment, one that nearly beat his own.
Returning to Polar Star, thanks to the efforts of Sōma and the residents, the dorm was still standing and in operation. During their victory celebration, including a surprise visit by the Aldini brothers, the party was suddenly interrupted by Azami who had come to the dorm to see Erina. Revealing that he was a former resident and allowing Erina to stay at the dorm in the meantime, Azami promptly left, though Sōma stopped him at the entrance. He was curious as to why Azami wanted to close down a place he had once stayed in, but Azami corrected him, saying that it was a precious place to him, but more so in the past. As Azami reminisced of his days in the dormitory, he revealed that his inspiration was none other than Jōichirō who was his senpai. Upon hearing the news, Sōma told him that Jōichirō was his father, just as Erina had arrived on the scene. Not believing him at first, it was thanks to Yūki showing them a picture of Jōichirō with Sōma during his visit to Polar Star, Azami was amused and wondered how much of a coincidence that Sōma was present at the academy. Before departing, Azami told Sōma that his revolution was to correct the culinary world that had tainted Jōichirō.
During the Polar Star's victory party, Satoshi informed everyone that he will likely be forced to step down from the Elite Ten soon. However, before he had to do so, he had already implemented a few rules to prevent cheating in any future Shokugekis during the incoming Survivor's Purge, where each research club would compete to determine if they have to follow the disbandment order. Sōma, interested in the students recruited by Central, decided to go to the venue where the Shokugekis are being held. In the end, they decided to split into four different groups in order to be able to watch every match. Before leaving, he was approached by Erina, who asked him how he felt about what her father had said the other day. Sōma told her that hearing old stories wouldn't change his actions, as he was merely acting accordingly against something he doesn't agree with. Heading out, Sōma departed for Venue D with Megumi and Takumi.
Main article: Promotion Exams Arc
(To be added)
- Yukihira Style - Sōma's main cooking style is a completely original style developed by his father, Jōichirō Yukihira. The main feature of this style is that it borrows different styles, techniques, and cuisine types from around the world. To Sōma's end, he has spent at least twelve years developing his craft in this style and continues to evolve it as the story progresses. Sōma has shown immense levels of creativity, taking inspirations from the most unexpected places to overcome roadblocks when making his dishes. While they appear and taste like extravagant dishes, they are very simple in concept and are designed mainly to appeal to the sort of patrons at Restaurant Yukihira. Nevertheless, Sōma has emerged out of almost every duel and assignment successfully when he is in control. However, it takes a lot of trial and error for Sōma to make his end results.
- Japanese Cuisine - Due to his experience working at his family restaurant, Sōma is highly skilled at making comfort food that the Japanese masses consume on a daily basis. Overall, his dishes tend to add innovated twists to traditional dishes. According to Satoshi, Sōma often makes savory dishes that feature risotto in some manner.
- French Cuisine - Sōma had minimal training in French cooking style while working with his father in his Restaurant. As a result, he had only a few techniques under his belt before entering Tōtsuki such as using Poêlé, an advanced french cooking technique to remove the bad smell from cooking fish. During his Stagiaire, he was personally trained by Kojirō Shinomiya in French cooking, becoming more adept and has used the techniques he has learned immediately into practice.
- Excellent Sous Chef - After working for years in Restaurant Yukihira under the tutelage of his father, Sōma has spent years assisting his father as a sous chef. Sōma can assist just about anyone without getting in their way, slowing down their work, or deviating from their intended recipe. As noted by several of the Tōtsuki Academy Alumni, Sōma's skill was beyond that of an average Tōtsuki student. His abilities impressed Eishi Tsukasa enough for him to ask Sōma to become his right hand man, since Eishi believed his cooking would further improve with Sōma's support
- Live Cooking - Live cooking is the preparation of a dish in front of a client rather than serving the finished product alone. Also known as "Showman Cooking." Because of this, Sōma demonstrates an excellent sense of showmanship and knows how to draw in a crowd. He used this in the Breakfast 200 Dish challenge during the fourth day of the Friendship and Rapport Training Camp to overcome the unfortunate handicap given to him by his Mini Soufflé Omelette.
- Adaptation - Like Mimasaka's trace, Sōma too adapts to others' cooking style and infuses it in his own style and this can be best explained by his Butter pilaf dish against Somei in the Régiment de Cuisine which had inspirations from Yūki, Hayama, Megumi,etc.
- Vegetable Carving - Vegetable carving is an artistic skill of carving vegetables into artistic shapes such as flowers and animals. Sōma was able to carve roses out of carrots and mix other vegetables with a carrot to create a miniature scale model of a Gundam.
- Grilled Squid Tentacles Dressed in Peanut Butter - As the name implies, this dish consists of grilled squid tentacles covered in peanut butter. The taste of this dish is bad enough that the person who ate it compared it to having her entire body groped by a large squid (imagination only).
- Roast Pork, Just Kidding - Sōma is challenged to make a meat dish by some urban planners after they had destroyed all of Restaurant Yukihira's food stocks. Only having a small amount of supplies he had purchased at the store, he made an amazing dish of roast pork out of thick slices of bacon and potatoes. Using a past error, he improvised and created this dish.
- Improvised Mackerel Burger Meal - To enter the Polar Star Dormitory, Sōma created this full course meal using nothing but Polar Star Kitchen leftover ingredients. Despite only using leftover ingredients, the dish has an amazing taste, enough to grant him entrance into the dormitory.
- Chaliapin Steak Don - Sōma's dish against Ikumi Mito in his first yet high stake Shokugeki. Combined with the legendary Chaliapin Steak and the donburi style, it is a one of a kind. It was creatively cooked with plum which served as the tenderizer to the rice while red wine was used to cook the meat.
- Mini Soufflé Omelette - Sōma's choice for the Breakfast Buffet Challenge during the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp. The eggs are prepared quickly to ensure fluffiness as the dish melts as one eats it, almost like magic! Though the dish must be served quickly, lest the Omelette loses its fluffiness.
- Apple Risotto - Sōma's dishes to battle his father during Jōichirō's sudden visit to the Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Using the crisp taste of apples in his risotto, the dish has a refreshing taste that perfectly complements the Risotto's meaty taste.
- Curry Risotto Omurice - Sōma's dish during the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election. Cutting into the omurice created an explosion of spices. Mango was used as a special ingredient to enhance the flavor of the dish.
- Evolved Nori Bento - Sōma's bento dish during his first Main Tournament match against Alice Nakiri. Using a layered bento box, is a different course for a hearty lunch! Of course, as in line with a Yukihira style dish, there is a hidden secret in the final box.
- Oja-Style Pacific Saury Takikomi Gohan - Sōma's dish for the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election Finals. Sōma used rice bran to allow him to forge his own pacific saury flavor rather than rely on the taste of a fresh saury like his opponents. Combined with a special dashi using soy milk, Sōma created an ojiya styled dish that went toe-to-toe with Akira Hayama's and Ryō Kurokiba's dishes.
- Quail Stuffed with Risotto and Eggs ~Brazen Youngster Style~ - An original dish made for Kojirō Shinomiya in order to leave a visible result during the second week of his Stagiaire at Shino's Tokyo.
- Hujiao Bing - A dish made by Sōma during the Moon Banquet Festival. However, he first learned about this dish when his father acquired a clay oven from one of his acquaintances, in order to become the best-selling stall during a summer festival in the Sumiredōri Shopping District. Hujiao Bing is a Taiwanese snack dish made by taking a "meatball" of minced pork spare ribs marinated in black pepper, wrapping it with a batter of all-purpose flour, and baking it in a clay oven.
- Fake Dan Zai Noodles - A dish made by Sōma, when he heard a customer requesting for a light dish to consume during the second night of the Moon Banquet Festival. This Taiwanese dish consists of a light soup with dashi taken from katsobushi or shrimp shells. Using Hujiao Bing dough, he skillfully cuts it into thin noodles called "Aburamen". He also uses Hujiao Bing's filling, minced pork as the topping and young spring onions, all served in a small bowl.
- Cheese-Feathered Hanetsuki Gyōza - Sōma's dish for his Shokugeki battle against Etsyua. Utilizing a Hanetsuki styled Gyōza, Sōma used Parmesan cheese, satsuma jindori bone soup, and a "hidden flavor" that allowed him to battle against defeat Etsyua's alchemic dish with an overwhelming victory.
- Charcoal Grilled Venison Round Steak~Chestnut Sauce~ - Sōma made this dish during a duel against Eishi Tsukasa. It has a mellow flavor, and Sōma used chestnuts to create an unique sauce. He used coffee to increase the richness of the sauce, as taught by Kojirō during the Stagiaire.
- Mincemeat Katsu - Sōma's dish for his rematch against Akira Hayama. The dish utilizes meat closest to the bear's bones, which was considered to be a risky gamble since it increased the chances of the bear's natural stink carrying over with the increased flavor. The dish is accompanied by a sauce made from caramelized Amur Cork honey, which accelerates the natural flavors of the bear meat.
- Yukihira Style Barley Flour Soba- Sōma's dish for his match against Nene Kinokuni. Through the usage of thrice milled buckwheat flour, the delicate flavor of Soba remains preserved despite frying it. Eating the dish invokes nostalgic summer festival memories of one's youth.
- Boeuf Bourguignon - Sōma and Megumi along with the rest of students in Roland Chapelle's lecture were tasked with making this standard French Dish. However, during the cooking process, Sōma and Megumi's Boeuf Bourguignon was sabotaged by some fellow students who added salt, ruining the beef. Thanks to some quick thinking, Sōma revised the recipe and saved their dish by adding honey to tenderize the beef in a short amount of time. The dish was given an "A" and made Roland smile for the first time on record.
- Char Okakiage - An original dish made by Sōma and Megumi Tadokoro from Hinako Inui's Kaki Peanuts, Sōma's unexpected main ingredient during the first day of the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp. This dish was a response to Takumi Aldini's challenge to surpass Sōma's abilities.
- Rainbow Terrine - A Megumi original. Sōma acted as the sous chef for this Shokugeki dish. The dish reflected Megumi's benevolent nature which can melt even the coldest heart. Sōma assisted Megumi and help create this heartwarming dish.
- Sumire Karaage Roll - Sōma's first collaborated dish with Ikumi in order to retake the neighborhood's former fame after his homecoming. This portable roll is perfect for the average student or businessman to eat on their way home. More importantly the roll is a collaboration of many of Sumiredōri local shopping district shops and businesses.
- Surprise-Filled Gyoza - A simple dish taught to the DEF Kitchen children by Sōma and Megumi. After catching their attention with their skills, the duo taught the children to make this simple dish that is filled with various fillings to create a medley of different Gyoza for the children to enjoy.
- Chaliapin Steak Don (Prototype) - Sōma's prototype donburi dish for his Shokugeki against Ikumi. Sōma would spend the night before the match, perfecting the recipe.
- Cheese and Curry Karaage - Sōma's prototype Karaage to counter Mozuya's Karaage. The latter was dropped due to Sōma's theory that the Karaage didn't matched to the packaging designs to attract the customers.
- Nori Bento (Prototype) - Sōma's prototype bento dish as his preparations for the Autumn Election's Main Tournament. This was Sōma initial concept of his bento dish as he worked with Ryōko Sakaki. After some advice, Sōma evolved it into his dish for the first round.
- Twice-cooked pork - Sōma's prototype steak dish in hopes of creating a dish for the Moon Banquet Festival.
- Pepper Steak - Sōma's prototype pork dish in hopes of creating a dish for the Moon Banquet Festival.
Restaurant Yukihira Dishes
These are Yukihira specialty dishes that can only be found on their secret menu.
- #5 Beef Stew - A hearty stew made in Restaurant Yukihira. It is perfect for your average patron but was deemed not suitable for the Autumn Election Semifinals
- Beef Stew: Autumn Election Special - Sōma improved the Beef Stew to overcome a great handicap. Using the style of a Chikuzenni, Sōma created a beef stew using a medley of other beef parts to create a meat thrill ride for the judges.
- #8 Transforming Furikake Gohan - An original take on the classical Furikake Gohan, the Yukihira style uses eggs coated by a golden coating using chilled chicken broth to create a golden jewel from the simplest ingredients.
- #20 Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke - The normal variation of Yukihira's Secret Menu #20 uses salmon as the meat base, but to challenge Satoshi, he used Mackrel as Satoshi did for his duel dish. Though it is a Japanese styled dish, Sōma unknowingly used a french technique, poêlée, to create a unique dish that brings forth the feeling of spring!
- Mapo Doufu Meal - A full Chinese course meal made in Restaurant Yukihira. This meal consists of one mapo doufu dish and three other staple dishes.
- Chicken Egg Tempura Don - A frozen egg that is deep-fried in tempura batter, producing a soft-boiled tempura egg over rice. Though the dish uses common, low-grade eggs, the dishes' power comes from this fact as no other egg grade can produce the flavor that dish can create. Despite its low grade ingredients, it was sufficient enough to please Erina's God's Tongue.
- Don RS - Sōma was a temporary member of the Don RS as their representative for the Mito Vs. Don RS Shokugeki. Sōma did not formally join the club and promptly left after the duel concluded, but he is considered an honorary member by the RS.
Cooking Duel Records
|Mito Vs. Don RS Shokugeki|
|Ikumi Mito||Meat||Chaliapin Steak Don||Win: Demolition of the Don RS would be canceled and Ikumi will join the club.
||Win - Don RS will not be demolished and Ikumi joins the club.||1-0-0|
|Yukihira Vs. Mimasaka Semifinal Shokugeki|
|Subaru Mimasaka||Western-Style||Beef Stew: Autumn Election Special||Win: Subaru will return all 100 knives he has claimed from his previous Shokugekis.
||Win - Subaru returns all 100 knives he has claimed.||2-0-0|
|Yukihira Vs. Kabutoyama Shokugeki|
|Tetsuji Kabutoyama||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Tetsuji will teach Sōma his skewering techniques
||Win - Tetsuji will teach Sōma his skewering techniques||3-0-0|
|2 Unnamed Students||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Unknown
||Win - The stipulation for his two wins are not known||5-0-0|
|Yukihira Vs. Eizan Shokugeki|
|Etsuya Eizan||Satsuma Jidori||Cheese-Feathered Hanetsuki Gyōza||Win: Polar Star Dormitory's closure is reversed.
||Win - Polar Star Dormitory's closure is reversed.||6-0-0|
|Yukihira-Tadokoro Vs. Shinomiya Shokugeki|
|Kojirō Shinomiya||Vegetable||Rainbow Terrine||Win: Kojirō would have to rescind Megumi's expulsion
||*Draw - Megumi's expulsion is revoked. Sōma and Megumi are allowed to continue to participate in the camp.||0-0-1|
(*) Sōma and Megumi originally lost this Shokugeki. However, Gin placed a coin in their plate out of recognition. Kojirō was given a coin and he dropped it into Megumi's plate after eating her dish. Hinako finally added one last vote, rendering the duel a tie.
The 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
|Quarterfinals||Alice Nakiri||Bento||Evolved Nori Bento||Win - Sōma advances to the Semifinals|
|Semifinals||Subaru Mimasaka||Western-Style||Beef Stew: Autumn Election Special||Win - Sōma advances to the Finals|
|Finals||Akira Hayama & Ryō Kurokiba||Pacific Saury||Oja-Style Pacific Saury Takikomi Gohan||Loss - Akira Hayama wins the 43rd Annual Autumn Election.|
Rebels Vs Central Régiment de Cuisine
|1st Round||Nene Kinokuni||Soba||Yukihira Style Barley Flour Soba||Win - Sōma is allowed to continue in the Régiment de Cuisine.|
|3rd Round||Sōmei Saitō||Butter||Yukihira Style Fragrant Butter Pilaf Inarizushi||Win - Sōma is allowed to continue in the Régiment de Cuisine.|
Misc. Cooking Duels
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Jōichirō Yukihira (489th match)|
|Jōichirō Yukihira||Miscellaneous||Miscellaneous||None: Each duel was to test Sōma's skills.||Loss (Multiple) - By the start of the story, Sōma had challenged his father to 489 cooking duels leading to a 489 consecutive losing streak. Sōma's father notes that his cooking improves every time.|
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Satoshi Isshiki|
|Satoshi Isshiki||Spring||Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke||None: It was merely to check Sōma's skill as a chef.||Draw - Sōma has earned Satoshi's respect.|
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Takumi Aldini|
|Takumi Aldini & Isami Aldini||Japanese Cuisine||Char Okakiage||Win: Takumi would have to bow before Sōma and call himself a dejected loser 3 times.
||Draw - A clear winner could not be established and neither had to bow before the other. Sōma and Takumi formed a new rivalry.|
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Jōichirō Yukihira (490th match)|
|Jōichirō Yukihira||Breakfast||Apple Risotto||None: It was merely to see Sōma's progression in the academy.||Loss - This is Sōma's 490th defeat against his father, though his father and the judges note he has improved.|
|Eishi Tsukasa Vs. Sōma Yukihira|
|Eishi Tsukasa||French Venison||Charcoal Grilled Venison Round Steak~Chestnut Sauce~||Win: Eishi will forfeit his seat in the Elite Ten Council to Sōma.
||Loss - Eishi wins, but he does not want Sōma to become his right hand man anymore.|
|Akira Hayama Vs. Sōma Yukihira Promotion Exam Duel|
|Akira Hayama||Bear Meat||Mincemeat Katsu||Win: Sōma will pass the third assignment of the Promotion Exams.
||Win - Sōma passes the third assignment of the Promotion Exams.|
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Jōichirō Yukihira (491st match)|
|Jōichirō Yukihira||Unknown||Unknown||None: Jōichirō taunted Sōma to a cooking match on the train to the final battle of the Promotion Exams.||Loss - This is Sōma's 491st consecutive loss against his father.|
|Sōma Yukihira Vs. Tōsuke Megishima|
|Tōsuke Megishima||Ramen||Unknown Ramen Dish||Wins: Tōsuke joins the Rebels' team
||Loss (Multiple) - Sōma loses multiple times, but Tōsuke changed his mind to join the Rebels' team after being inspired by Sōma's unbreakable will and reasons to cook for his friends and customers.|
- Sōma ranked 1st in the first popularity poll with 956 votes. He ranked first again in the second popularity poll, with 6451 votes. In the 3rd popularity poll, he dropped down to 4th with 2795 votes.
- Sōma (創真), using the kanji for "creation" (創 Sō) and "true" (真 Ma), could mean "true creation", a reflection of his boundless creativity. Yukihira (幸平), using the kanji for "blessing" (幸 Yuki) and "common" or "ordinary" (平 Hira), could roughly translate as "blessing of the ordinary", a reflection of his humble origins compared to his classmates.
- Sōma's One-shot version of himself is relatively the same, however his hair is a different color and is much shorter.
- Sōma's voice actor in the Vomic, Yūki Ono, voices Isami Aldini in the anime.
- According to Subaru Mimasaka's investigations by the time of the Tōtsuki Autumn Election, Sōma:
- is 171 cm tall;
- weighs 57 kg;
- has blood type B;
- has a shoe size of 26.5 cm;
- slept an average of 6 hours and 14 minutes in the past month;
- junior high classes were 1-5, 2-2 and 3-7
- has five pairs of shoes;
- tends to start brushing his teeth from his lower right molar;
- has a habit of lifting one of his eyebrow when observing someone.
- likes to do laundry;
- likes spacious bathtubs.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shokugeki no Soma volume 23 extras
- ↑ Shokugeki no Soma chapter 1, page 4
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Shokugeki no Soma chapter 73, page 17
- ↑ J.C Staff Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma anime casts Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
- ↑ The C.V. list on the official Vomic website
- ↑ http://www.sentaifilmworks.com/news/food-wars-english-dub-full-cast-list
- ↑ Shokugeki no Soma chapter 56, page 2
- ↑ Shokugeki no Soma chapter 121, page 1
|Isami Aldini • Takumi Aldini • Daigo Aoki • Hisako Arato • Madoka Enomoto • Akira Hayama • Miyoko Hōjō • Shun Ibusaki • Takumi Ishiwatari • Urara Kawashima • Ryō Kurokiba • Zenji Marui • Subaru Mimasaka • Ikumi Mito • Alice Nakiri • Erina Nakiri • Nao Sadatsuka • Ryōko Sakaki • Yua Sasaki • Shōji Satō • Megumi Tadokoro • Yūki Yoshino • Sōma Yukihira|
|Students||Daigo Aoki • Shun Ibusaki • Satoshi Isshiki • Zenji Marui • Erina Nakiri • Ryōko Sakaki • Shōji Satō • Megumi Tadokoro • Yūki Yoshino • Sōma Yukihira|
|Dormitory Mother||Fumio Daimidō|