Along with Megumi and Ryou’s origins from port cities and their experience working as chefs at an early age, the differences in their perception of cooking and its meaning is also setting-up this battle as an incredibly exciting one. Ryou, through the rough childhood he had to endure arrived at the view that cooking involved only yourself and making your opponent(s) submit to you. Megumi on the other hand found a way forward through the confusion and doubt her mind trapped herself in with the aid and support of others.
Ryou sure had a rough childhood, having to fend for himself at such a young age as well as dealing with the reality that not many adults enjoyed the feeling of being bossed around by a child. The situation he found himself in and the area the pub was situated in demanded that he be hard on those disrespectful to him, including his co-workers. While it may have been excessive the way he belittled his co-workers, I suppose given the circumstances surrounding Ryou, to survive he had to take on such a cold and brutal persona.
The lifestyle he lived did shape the negative view he had of those chefs able to work together and support each other. Such a reality was non-existent within his past and as such ‘the kitchen is a “battlefield”‘ and ‘food is “power”‘ view became the perspective he found himself looking at cooking from. The conceited nature of Ryou does open up an interesting way for Ryou’s character and cooking skills to develop. If Ryou can escape from the closed state his mind is in, he may begin to see a new side of cooking and possibly a different way to advance his culinary skills and knowledge.
With Megumi fired up now to prove Ryou wrong and the theme of friendship and camaraderie coming into play, Megumi may just be the person to help open Ryou’s eyes. More than a battle between chefs, it is also pitting the paths each of the chefs travel against each other. Megumi may not express the full extent of her determination through her body language, but she certainly does express it through her cooking.
At the very least this culinary battle won’t be a one sided affair and if Ryou wants to win, he will have to earn it. Looking forward to the next chapter and seeing how Ryou responds.