Shokugeki no Soma is totally a cooking show. Totally. Why would you even doubt this? Anyways, this’ll be a short post, since I haven’t quite sorted out which spring anime series will end up here instead of getting their own weekly posts. But hey, I get to talk about food!
Shokugeki no Soma S3 Ep. 13
So in Azami’s latest attempts to weed out students that he consider problematic, everyone will have to undergo the Advancement Exams. If you pass, you move on. If you fail, you get expelled. Seems simple enough. Naturally, everyone’s freaking out about them except Yukihira. Erina later pays him a visit to talk about how Joichiro, Yukihira’s father, taught her to love food. Unfortunately, she no longer knows what food means to her anymore thanks to her father’s abuse. She’s lost her confidence and sense of purpose. The girl’s pouring her heart out to the main character, but he looks bored out of his goddamn mind. Oh well. He then decides to whip up a dish for Erina to taste. He’s determined to get her to say that something he’s made is delicious. He ends up making this:
Looks pretty simple, huh? Not only that, he used cheap eggs that he had bought from a supermarket. Nevertheless, Erina is blown away. Not only does the dish have mind-blowing flavor, she can’t even begin to understand how Yukihira managed to dip an egg in tempura batter, deep fry it, and still keep the yolk raw and runny. The main character then reveals his one simple trick: he froze the egg. And because he froze the egg, this served to intensify the flavor of the yolk. That’s why he used cheap supermarket eggs… higher quality eggs would’ve ended up being too rich. Yeah, I really doubt that. I also think there’s too much rice in that bowl for one small tempura egg, but whatever. It’s not a big deal. Yukihira then confesses that he’s often not 100% certain about a lot of his dishes. Nevertheless, what matters is that he has fun. This thus inspires Erina to regain her love of food, so the very next day, she decides to lead the charge and help Polar Star Dormitory overcome the Advancement Exams. Great… But this whole brouhaha with Azami is going to last forever, isn’t it? It’s going to extend into a fourth and possibly even a fifth season, huh? I feel exhausted just thinking about it.
Anyways, the closest thing to a runny yolk dish that I’ve eaten was when I visited Cotogna, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco. To be specific, it was a pasta dish in which an egg had been cooked inside a raviolo:
But since this episode is all about having fun and experimenting while cooking, I guess I’ll talk about Atelier Crenn. What’s unique about this restaurant is that it’s helmed by Dominique Crenn, one of the few female chefs in America to have two Michelin stars to her name. She serves up modern French cuisine with a certain artistic flair. I won’t include every single thing I’ve ever had at the restaurant, however, because we’d end up going over 30 different dishes. So instead, I’ll highlight some of my favorites:
I’ve always loved the colors in this simple peas and carrot soup.
What you have here is foie gras torchon that had been initially frozen. This allows the chef to shave it in a certain way that gives the foie gras a visual texture that is similar to wood.
In this dish, the chef has gone and turned olive oil into snow. By using maltodextrin, you can turn any oil into powder. Maltodextrin itself shouldn’t have any flavor, and it dissolves quickly on the tongue. As a result, all you’re left with is the flavor of the oil itself. Not only does it add to the forest theme of the entire menu, you don’t have to drizzle liquid oil everywhere.
Of course, there are some techniques that I don’t love. I’ve never really understood foam and its prevalence in modern cooking. But again, I love the use of colors.
To extend the forest theme even further, we have a dish that is simply titled “pear in the snow.” The pear itself is of course a pear-flavored sorbet. It sits on top of powdered cream and cake that has been shredded to look similar to moss.
Desserts are honestly Atelier Crenn’s greatest strengths. Here, have a beat sorbet with white chocolate meringue and various other flavors.
Then you have this theatrical dessert full of aubergine flavor. Basically, it’s aubergine ice cream, aubergine ash, and more. Well, I think that’s about for now. I do wonder, of course, if any of the dishes above would’ve passed Azami’s discerning tastes.
Toji no Miko Ep. 13
So there’s currently no big, evil villain for our girls to tackle. Instead, Yukari’s defeat has resulted in aradama popping up more frequently throughout Japan. As a result, the girls have been running around the country, frantically trying to keep the peace. Trust in Mokusa is low, but it’s not like people have a choice in the matter. Anyways, the biggest concern at the moment is that some mysterious individual has been stealing noro. That’s the primary plot thread for now. There’s a secondary plot thread involving Yukina continuing to abuse Yomi even more, which is ridiculous. I don’t understand why she hasn’t been apprehended. Did everyone just forget about Yukina after Yukari was defeated?
But do you wanna know what’s really stupid? When Yukari had the girls on the ropes in the first half finale, we thought Kanami ended up being possessed by her mother. It turns out this wasn’t the case at all. When Kanami goes to chat with Minato in her sleep — again, I can’t believe that this is a thing — the latter claims that she had done no such thing. Rather, Kanami felt at the time that she needed to become her mother in order to win against Yukari, so she somehow tricked herself into imitating her mother’s swordsmanship and mannerisms perfectly. And that’s how she got the best of Yukari. That’s… that’s ridiculous. Nevertheless, our heroine is apparently super strong now, and for some reason, this is causing friction between her and Sayaka. Yeah, I don’t get it either. I guess we need some kind of conflict between the girls. That’s Toji no Miko for you. It’s terrible, but as long as I still have some free time on Sunday nights, I’ll guess I’ll keep watching it. God, I wonder if anyone else is actually still covering this show.