Interesting strategy by Souma, to bring Subaru to equal footing in regards to the beef stew dish Souma had chosen to be his dish for their match. The fact that Souma had already advanced his beef stew dish in the past, that he considers it his greatest masterpiece from when he was middle school, makes improving it now that much more difficult. Souma himself is unsure how much he can advance the dish, but I suppose given his excitement in trying to defeat Subaru and surpass himself, the creative side of Souma has just been given an unrestricted license to unleash.
It may have been an unwise move by Souma to reveal his cards to Subaru the way he did, but ultimately, Subaru was going to find out what Souma would be cooking for the challenge and would end up analysing Souma’s dish and taking it apart in order to find a way to evolve the dish. Though Nikumi wasn’t wrong in yelling at Souma, Souma does have a point in trying to destroy whatever notion of “cooking” Subaru has built up within his mind in order to get him to appreciate cooking for the spectacle that it is.
Souma is not only battling with his knives and future as a cook on the line but also with his ideology as a cook. Souma doesn’t see Subaru’s victories as real wins and has opted to bring Subaru up to his level before their match in order to truly be the one who defeats him. With Subaru having an equal starting line from which to base his dish off, how will he go about improving on Souma’s beef stew which is already a phenomenal dish? It certainly does look like Souma is trying to get Subaru to extend himself outside the box of tracing others dishes and instead focus on making efforts to creatively advance a dish which seems to be complete already. I do wonder how Subaru will fare with the freedom he is offered in this challenge and how he will try to predict what someone like Souma would end up doing.
Amusing how badly the students of Tootsuki are writing off Souma in favour of Subaru and him winning a Shokugeki again. Am definitely looking forward to Souma silencing all those students and proving them wrong. I am especially looking forward to seeing the look on Subaru’s face the moment he realises that he can’t defeat Souma, let alone read him. With the battle now coming down to one of creativity, it definitely will be interesting to see what Souma and Subaru will end up doing for their match.