The Day They Met is the 168th chapter of Shokugeki no Soma.
Fearing that Erina had been kidnapped by Azami since she was not in her room or in any of the common areas, Hisako desperately searches through Polar Star Dorm for any sign of her. She considers looking into Sōma's room, but figures that Erina would not be in there. Ironically, it just so happens that Erina was in his room. After a brief moment of silence, Erina criticizes Sōma in his duel against Eishi. However, Sōma was well aware of the extent of Eishi's strength and even admitted that Eishi was in a whole other level. Sōma asks if that was the only reason for Erina visiting him, but Erina clarifies that she came to visit to tell him a story of her past.
Sometime after she turned 4, Erina had begun working as a taste tester, though she did not have any interest in cooking at the time. After tasting countless dishes, she felt despondent from the dull tastes of the dishes. However, she took her role seriously as a member of the Nakiri family, never speaking to Senzaemon of her true feelings. One day, Erina's clients had cancelled, leaving her with free time on her hands. As she wandered the Mansion, a pleasant aroma had wafted through the halls. Searching for the source, she eventually stumbled into a room where she saw her grandfather and a mysterious man. While she attempted to keep her presence unknown, her stomach began to growl. Senzaemon told her that the man was invited for a private meal and told her to go back to her room. However, her stomach growled one more time, prompting the man to prepare a dish for her. Upon her first bite, Erina felt a warming sensation from her heart, a feeling of fun that never came from any of the dishes she had eaten before. Enthralled by the pleasant feelings his dishes evoked in her, Erina asked him for his name. After a brief pause, the man introduced himself as Jōichirō Saiba. Shortly after, the two took a picture together which Erina treasured. Since that day, Erina wanted to know more about him, but she did not ask her grandfather since she thought it would be rude to ask about one of his friends. However, six months later, her "training" from Azami had begun.
Erina tells Sōma that she still feels the happy sensations of Jōichirō's dishes to this day, however after being subjected to the countless lackluster dishes in her childhood, she understands her father's ideology. She realized that somewhere along the way, she forgot what cooking really is to her. As she mulls over her thoughts, she cannot come to a conclusion of which side is right. Seeing Sōma attentively listening to her, she apologizes for wasting his time. However, before she can leave the room, Sōma offers to cook an original Yukihira Style dish for her.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Hisako Arato
- Sōma Yukihira
- Erina Nakiri
- Senzaemon Nakiri (Flashback)
- Jōichirō Yukihira (Flashback)
- Azami Nakiri (Flashback)