The Chef That Doesn't Smile is the 5th chapter of Shokugeki no Soma.
Megumi Tadokoro recalls her memories, with a 12-year old Megumi preparing to leave her hometown to attend Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. As she bids her family goodbye, her mother gives her an amulet for good luck. Megumi thanks everyone and vows to come back one day, having grown as a chef. Megumi however soon learns life at the academy isn't easy at all, as she starts collecting low grades. By the school regulations, Megumi is informed she'll get expelled if she gets another failing grade.
To make things worse, Megumi is paired up with Sōma Yukihira for the first assignment of the year. Sōma laughs at the idea of cooking in class, not being used to it. Everyone at the class is however staring at him, as he made himself impopular by giving his entrance speech. Sōma then starts talking to Megumi, who explains to him how their cooking will be graded. She also tells him she must pass the assignment to stay in the academy, which leads to Sōma accidentally insulting her. Megumi then recalls she wanted to avoid Sōma after listening to his speech.
At that moment, the lecturer arrives. Megumi identifies him as Roland Chapelle, a teacher with strict evaluations even for Tōtsuki Academy. He immediately tells the students of their responsibilities as a chef and threatens to give their dishes an E, the lowest possible score, if the dish fails to stand out. Roland then gives the students their assignment, which is to cook Boeuf Bourguignon, a standard French dish. When the cooking commences, Megumi tries to calm herself down, looking at Sōma who seems to be confident. Sōma then ruins her mood after announcing he never cooked the dish and doesn't know the recipe.
When they eventually start cooking, Megumi is nervous again, waiting at the fire to take out the beef which isn't needed until much later. She soon realizes it is a bit ridiculous to wait there, so she leaves her post to prepare another ingredient. At this time, two students sabotage the beef to try to get Sōma expelled as soon as possible. Sōma soon realizes something is wrong with the beef however, with the lid having been left open. He realizes a bit of salt was added to the beef, rendering it useless in its current form. With only 30 minutes left on the clock, Megumi fears they won't have enough time to make the dish all over again.
Sōma tries to calm down Megumi, vowing to get the dish done before time runs out and remembering her of Roland's words. He asks Megumi to help him, with them looking at the garnishment and seasoning of the food. The students who added the salt to the dish look at the pair believing they won't be able to get their dish done in time anymore. Just when they are thinking on how to serve their own food however, Sōma announces the dish is done and asks for Roland to evaluate their dish next. Roland realizes the dish is tender, which shouldn't have been possible without boiling the dish, shocking the students who sabotaged the dish.
Roland tells Sōma that he knew the pair had an accident, and he asks Sōma how he got the dish completed. Sōma reveals he used honey as a secret ingredient to the dish, rubbing it on the meat before boiling and adding it as a seasoning as well. Roland acknowledges this fact, but Megumi asks Sōma how he knew about this. Sōma reveals he once tested it at Restaurant Yukihira having read it in a book. Megumi and Roland then proceed to eat the dish, both smiling at the taste of the dish. The students are shocked by this fact, as Roland was known as The Chef that Doesn't Smile at the academy. Roland passes Sōma and Megumi, calling it a shame that he can't give them anything higher than an A.
The other students in the class realize they've been outdone by Sōma. The pair of students who sabotaged the dish weren't paying attention to their own dish, with the sauce being overcooked and them ironically scoring an E for the assignment. Megumi thanks Sōma for the help, with him giving his regards to his classmate. Megumi thinks she has been paired with an amazing person, before Sōma asks her to try a dish he just experimented with. When Megumi tries the dish, she realizes it tastes really bad before thinking she doesn't like Sōma at all.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Sōma Yukihira and Megumi Tadokoro's Boeuf Bourguignon
- Sōma Yukihira's Grilled Squid Tentacles Dressed in Peanut Butter