Soma Yukihira delivers a speech to the Tootsuki freshmen — saying he thinks of Tootsuki, a school with a 1% passing rate, as a mere stepping stone. A Badass Boast without shouting.
Then later telling Erina Nakiri who tried to pettily flunk him that he's has 12 years in the kitchen as opposed to two years of education and sooner or later, he'll make her admit that she liked his food.
Soma challenging Koujirou Shinomiya, a Tootsuki alumnus AND one of the Legendary Ten Alumni, to a Shokugeki. It helps that Shinomiya is a major Jerkass.
Even though Soma loses the match, Shinomiya tries the food Soma and Megumi Tadokoro made and it makes him relive his childhood (and yes it's an obvious glen from Ratatouille ) so much so that he adds in his own coin to the duo's plate. Shinomiya realizes his wrong in his stubborn ways and allows Megumi, as well as Soma, to stay in the school.
Not only that, Soma was not the head chef: Megumi was forced to take the position. Her recipe, with Soma's assistance, and getting props from the Legendary Chefs, despite not winning, adds to her credibility and staying power at Tootsuki.
Soma's comeback in the breakfast buffet trial, where he serves 200 plates in a meager 30 minutes.
To put this into perspective, Alice Nakiri and Erina easily serve 400 plates in the 2-hour period. Soma's failed omelette manages to serve 10 plates, but with 30 minutes left on the clock, he improvises by putting on a live cooking performance that attracts more customers, and serves the 190 needed to pass the trial. Repeat: he made 190 dishes...IN THE SPAN OF 30 MINUTES.
Soma takes a break to go check on his shop and finds the shopping district it's built in is once again in danger by a big business chain. He meets a representative of one of such, Mozuya, whose selling Karaage. Said representative is naturally cocky and flies off the handle when Soma challenges her, thinking he's beneath her. So Soma then comes up with an improved version of Karaage and two days later, causes Mozuya's sells to plummet. The representative heads to Soma's shop and realizes just how badly she underestimated him, especially when she's pressured to try his version. To add insult to injury, her boss is one of the Tootsuki alumni who told her specifically to report to him if Soma tries anything. Needless to say she has a lot of explaining to do.
One for that whole shopping block in general. Soma may have made the food that brought business back to area. But it was thanks to the efforts of the other shop owners working together that he managed to pull it off in short time.
Joichiro Yukihiro demolishing his son in their 490th cooking duel. If you thought Soma's skills were awesome, his father is culinary awesomeness PERSONIFIED.
Fumio Daimidou: "Even when Soma's dish could be given a perfect score, it feels like he [Joichiro] could surpass it easily!"
Megumi carving a hanging goosefish in the middle of the Autumn Election tournament. No one even knows how she'll use it in her curry, not even the queen of curry herself!
Marui Zenji finally casts off his Butt Monkey status and displays his real skills by using his extensive knowledge to compensate for his average cooking sense.
Chapter 57: Megumi makes it to the final eight. Time for the little bird to take flight from her small, small garden.
In the same chapter, Alice's dish, which is so strange and delicious that the judges can't find the words to describe it, and she made in to finals in the Autumn Festival by getting the highest score in Block B.
Soma's entry for the Autumn Election is Curry Omelette Rissoto, which not only rivals Akira Hayama's dish (gets plenty of merit because he's the favorite for the theme), but because it indirectly splits the judges' opinions: Akira scores 94 (two perfect 20s, three 18s), but Soma gets 93 (two 18s, three 19s); the three judges who awarded Akira 18s declare they enjoy Soma's dish more, thus giving him 19s. This begs the question, "Of the two, if they compete in a Shokugeki, who would win?"
As Satoshi Isshiki points out, Soma's dish was a combination of two of his "previous fails": the omelette from the breakfast buffet trial at Training Camp, and the Apple Rissoto made during his 490th duel against his father. Soma refuses to let those go as failures, thus used the experience in his favor.
First Shokugeki of the Final Round: Soma defeated Alice's molecular cuisine techniques, making a bento box that had the only thing Alice's didn't: It made the judges feel the joy of eating it.
Not only that, it's also the details on the entries: Alice's dish was a Temari Bento, which included a vast amount of techniques of molecular gastronomy and ingredients, regarded as a "jewelry box". On the other hand, Soma defeated her with a Nori Bento (considered one of the cheapest and most basic bentos in the market) by making it fun to discover, prompting the judges to regard it as a "treasure chest". Senzaemon explained that while Alice's bento was superior in flavor, she could have also do this dish for a sushi competition.
Chapter 69 has Megumi delivering a Shut Up, Hannibal! moment to Ryou Kurokiba during their Autumn Election duel.
Chapter 70: Ryou Kurokiba's cooking and the "foodgasm" of the judges.
Chapter 71: The scenes of Megumi's combat with Ryou. Thus far, combat scenes have been used to dictate rivalries between people as a metaphor for their cooking clash. But all of these people have been naturally competitive. Seeing ultra-Nice Girl Megumi bust out a Stand and go toe-to-toe with Kurokiba Ryou, who's been pointed out as using a cooking style that is "pure force" and looks like a serial killer, is more awesome than when others do it.
Chapter 73 has the initial stages of Hisako Arato vs. Akira Hayama displaying their techniques. Not only Akira makes a big kebab, but Hisako momentarily overshadows him whe she beheaded a live turtle and opened the shell in front of a shocked audience without even batting an eyelash. Worth mentioning that the only ones amazed by this were the judges and Yuuki, who is a wild game chef used to this.
Finally in Chapter 74 and 75, Hayama counters back with a Kebab dish. This results in Hisako's defeat, even when her dish had a lot of taste and visual impact. Also equally awesome was Hayama's lecture on her: Hisako lost because she settled down to be Erina's Number Two and never leaving her shadow, while Akira himself has the ambition of reaching the Top of Tootsuki by dethroning Erina and taking over the Elite Ten, very much like Soma declared.
Chapter 80: After winning against Takumi in their shokugeki, Subaru instantly goes to Soma's bedroom to likewise challenge him to one as they're paired off for the next stage of the election. Subaru hopes that seeing one of his friends defeated would get him riled up enough to accept. However Soma stays cool headed throughout the encounter and even ups the stakes. If Soma wins, he gets all 100 of Subaru's ill-gotten kitchen tools, but if Subaru wins Soma will give up being a cook and shut down his restaurant. Subaru warns Soma of the risk he's taking but Soma, without a ounce of hesitation, tells him to bring it on. And to even top it all off, he tells Sabaru what he's even going to make!