On the third gate, several dark chefs using various unusual tools on the beef to create an exquisite dish. The beginning of this volume or since the ending of the previous volume has been full of wild ideas, and the story seems out of hands. It's more focused on the uncommon tools used by the chefs, not their skills.
The first match is between Soma and 'The Female Sergeant' or 'Sarge' who is famous for using a chainsaw as her cooking tool. The theme of the first match is to create the most delicious Christmas cake within three hours. Besides of using a chainsaw to create the meringue, 'Sarge' is also using a sledgehammer to shatter a block of chocolates and the detonator with the modified oven to bake the 'Cluster Bomb' cake.
Soma has no specialty tool or any superpower skills. He uses a grocery bag to crush the yam manually and charcoal fire to bake a sponge cake. The yule log looks very realistic, and it has fireballs on top of it. Soma doesn't have any superpower skills like the dark chefs, but he has exceptional talent and experience gained from working at his family's diner. Luckily, Soma is spared from the wild idea and weird cooking tools, and his creativity is still the main focus here.
Takumi has to face against a dark chef, and the theme is teamwork. His younger brother is kidnapped, and Soma together with Megumi comes into the rescue. If Takumi loses in this battle, he has to lose the mezzaluna to the dark chef as well.
I have to admit that I feel confused and not really impressed with this volume. The wild ideas of the unusual tools to create the dishes have ruined this manga which beautifully started at the beginning.
Rating: ★★ (2/5)
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Food Wars!, Vol. 34: Shokugeki no Soma: Crossed Knives (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma #34).