Whats cooking on Netflix (Canada): "Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma"
An anime show featuring lots of amazing dishes
"Shokugeki no Soma" (original title) or "Food Wars" (English version), is one of my favourite anime/manga. The series is about a teenaged boy named Soma who aspires to work full time in the family restaurant while honing his skills so he can surpass his father, Joichiro. One day Joichiro get a job offer to work overseas. So he enrolls Soma into the Totsuki Culinary Acadamy, a prestigious culinary school where the graduation rate is less than 10%. It is also known for the culinary competitions between students called "Shokugeki". The story itself follows Soma's experience at Totsuki and how he rises to be one of the top chefs there.
Soma serving "transforming furikake gohan"
These are the following reasons why I enjoy this series:
1. The art: In the original manga comic, the art was very detailed to showcase the different textures of the ingredients for each dish. With the anime adaptation, the colours used further enhanced the details of the food to the point where it looks so good you begin to crave it.
2. The techniques: During the judging part of the Shokugeki competition, the competitors explain the techniques they used to achieve the plate they are serving. I found these explanations informative as it breaks down why certain ingredients were chosen and why certain cooking methods were used. For example, Soma was required to make Boeuf Bourguignon for class. In order to finish the assignment on time, he used honey. Honey not only flavoured the beef but it acted as a protease. This broke down the proteins which allowed the meat to become tender as it cooked within a shortened period of time.
Another example is when Soma compares French cooking techniques to Japanese. He notes that Japanese cooking methods use minimal preparation and altercations to ingredients in order to try to keep their "natural flavour". Whereas French techniques are the opposite; more preparation is required to create dishes.
3. The overreactions: As characters eat various dishes, the reactions are quite amusing. The art details the character(s) "foodgasim" as they savour and describe the flavours of the food. Often the art is very sexual (but never shows nudity) but also comedic. The over-dramatization of character's clothes (happens to both male and female characters) "bursting" or "stripping" as they eat the food is certainly amusing the first time you are introduced to the series.
The school's director "stripping" - if you can't make him strip then your dish is no good.
Anyway, I hope you guys check out this series. Season 1 of the show was just recently added to Netflix (in Canada, hopefully in other regions too). If you can't access the show, check out the original manga comic. It is a completed series with around 315 chapters plus some epilogue chapters. Also the manga has the recipes, at the end of the chapter, for some of the dishes featured.