Though he is the spitting image of the space pirate Kagato, Kazuma has little to do with the criminal outside of looks. He is the two-time reigning champion of the highly regarded "Viva with Cooking!" game show, and intends to extend that streak even with Sasami as his primary competition. His father, Mr. Kagato, is set on Kazuma taking over the family business, a famous restaurant in Ginza the Kagatos have run for four generations. But his son only cooks to gain his dad's attention and has no interest in becoming a professional chef, something that could sully the senior Kagato's "Retire from Cooking Announcement Plan" before it begins, set to be implemented once Kazuma wins three times in a row.
Tome, the second cook of the restaurant, goes to Sasami with a request; throw the match, as Kazuma might be used as a puppet by his dad for the rest of his life otherwise. After talking to Washu, she decides against it, as not only would it be bad to lose on purpose, but it'd be rude to Kazuma as well.
The three-part competition begins, and while she has a brief moment of doubt Sasami decides to do her best, no matter the outcome. The two exchange wins in the opening rounds, with Sasami edgeing out Kazuma in dishwashing and the boy scoring a buzzer-beating victory in a cooking quiz. Seeing his son's chances at a third championship in jeopardy, Mr. Kagato decides the fix should be in, sabotaging Sasami's ingredients by injecting a carrot with "the dreaded MSG". "It's better to cheat than lose", after all.
Final rounds and decisions
The championship is a two-hour stir-fried vegetable cook-off, the outcome deciding the ultimate winner. Kazuma has a slim lead going in to the final round, Sasami and a boy named Asari the only remaining challengers. Though tipped off to the outside interference by Ryo-Ohki, Sasami refuses to believe Kazuma would ever cheat. While she's preoccupied, Asari - ashamed to be losing to an eight-year-old girl - does some damage of his own, intentionally knocking Sasami over and causing her to chip her cutting knife. Kazuma sees the trick and confronts Asari, demanding the boy apologize to Sasami for his cheating, much to Mr. Kagato's chagrin.
A helping hand (literally) from Ryoko allows the match to continue, and at the end of the day Kazuma loses a close contest to Sasami, losing his title. Kazuma's father is ashamed, and becomes especially irate over his son's wishes not to succeed him as chief chef at their restaurant. Calling Kazuma a "failure", his father insists on deciding his future for him, just as that life path was thrust on him twenty years ago. The trade talk is interrupted by Washu, who with a well-placed picture and the discarded syringe reveals the elder Kagato's ploy to Toma and Kazuma.
Kazuma and Sasami leave on good terms, looking forward to cooking together again. As they drive back to the restaurant, the boy tells his father (somewhat cowed by the whole experience) how impressive he thought Sasami was, particularly in the face of all the rigorous training they've gone through. Choosing his own destiny for the first time, Kazuma wants to study even harder to give Sasami the best match he can when next they meet. Proud of his son and finally realizing children aren't puppets on their parents' strings, the two leave to practice cooking together.