Each contestant is starting their preparation for the finals of the Autumn Elections.
Soma decides to head to the fish market and see what kind of surrey he can pick up and work with. Megumi goes with him to help him brainstorm ideas on what kind dish to make. While they are at the market, they run into Ryo and Alice. Soma tries to show off his skills in chosing the type of surrey to use, but Ryo quickly shows the kind of experience gap there is between the two of them. Even Akira, who can discern the quality of a fish from their smell, is way beyond anything that Soma can even hope to compete with.
While the other two are working to perfect their dishes, Soma is trying to find a way to choose the best surrey. He decides that instead of changing his technique, he’ll try to age the fish, that way he can reach the maximum flavor and still have time to work on his dish. He tires a few different methods, but nothing comes close to what Ryo showed him. Soma knows that aging the fish is what he needs to do though he can’t quit figure out what’s missing from the process. He finally comes up with what he thinks will be the perfect solution and is ready to take on Ryo and Akira for the final round.
This episode went back to the roots of what made the first season of Food Wars so great. Soma was presented with an actual challenge, as opposed to Mimsaka which felt more like false tension, and had rework everything he thought about with cooking as well as allowing some other characters to share the spot light with him. While the Autumn Elections are still an important part of this episode, the focus is on the struggle that Soma is having to cook. He’s understanding that he really is in a completely different league than some of these others chef and that could end up being his downfall if he can’t find a way to come out above them. This isn’t a shokugeki so he won’t be expelled if he leaves but what is at stake it Soma’s chance to join the Top Ten at the school so he can work his way up to Erina and prove her wrong about his cooking. For him, that means more than if he stays at the school or not.
Will Soma’s aging method be able to match up to the skills of a seafood genius and a spice master?