Alice’s dish was spectacular and the fact that she incorporated a sequence in how her dish was to be eaten to deepen the level of flavour and satisfaction of the meal was incredibly well thought out. Not only did Alice bring forward a fantastical and elegant presentation, she utilised her flavours in such a unique and wondrous way, you can’t help but admire the level of thinking that went into creating the dish. Such a complex and technical dish that sings on so many levels had me wondering intensely throughout the chapter how exactly Souma would go about combating such an overwhelming dish…then I seen his back and my worries disappeared.
The flashback of how Alice got the Cutting-Edge Cooking Research Society room and equipment certainly added to the level of mastery she has already been highlighted as having. At fourteen years old she demolished her opponent four years her senior in such an overwhelming fashion. If Alice is this skillful, it is no wonder why Ryou is also such a talent chef. What a dangerous combination those two are.
I admit that I was expecting something more “wonderland” from Alice’s dish thanks to how her previous dish during the preliminaries looked but once that expectation disappeared, you begin to admire her bento for how elegant, clean and intriguing it is designed. The “liquid nitrogen” mist was used to control the temperature of the bento as well as adding to the mystifying effect of her dish. When you take into account the role each of her components and way they structure the overall experience of her dish, you begin to see the level of thought that went behind such a dish and how complex and difficult is was to execute perfectly. Such levels of talents did have me wondering how exactly Souma’s dish would outshine Alice’s “Temari Bento”.
The technical skills Alice displayed within her “Temari Bento” illustrates exactly what an innovative and gifted chef she really is. She is probably the only chef within Tootsuki Academy who could utilise the equipment she uses in a way that innovates cooking so dramatically. The surprising and compelling affect her cooking produces creates that satisfying feeling the judges had reacted with after trying her bento. Even Senzaemon couldn’t help but “overflow” with satisfaction after trying Alice’s dish. The fact Senzaemon also stated that Alice’s bento carried with it the same satisfaction a “gorgeous traditional Japanese restaurant banquet” had is testament to how much of challenge Souma is currently under in his battle against her.
While the other “elite” cooks in the audience shiver at the sight of Alice’s talent and shrink away into meagerness, Souma stands tall and as if it is just another day for cooking for him, declares his cooking for five people to be done. It’s exciting, it’s inspiring, it’s incredible the amount of confidence and resolve the image of his back exudes. Any worry I had regarding Souma’s chances against Alice disappeared completely when the focus shifted back to him and I seen just how ready he is to take down Alice. Just like Senzaemon, I can’t help by smile at the badassness of Souma in the final two pages of this chapter. Ah, I really can’t wait for the next chapter, so very much looking forward to seeing what Souma has come up with to take on Alice’s “Temari Bento”.