A master chef, Kate (CATHERINE ZETA-JONES) lives her life like she runs the kitchen at upscale 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan — with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. With breathtaking precision, she powers through each hectic shift, coordinating hundreds of meals, preparing delicate sauces, seasoning and simmering each dish to absolute perfection.
More at ease behind the scenes, she only leaves the sanctuary of her kitchen to accept compliments for one of her signature dishes, or, on rare occasions, to tangle with a customer who dares question her expertise. After work, most nights find her in bed before midnight, set to rise at dawn to beat her competition to the fish market for the next day’s freshest selections.
Kate’s perfectionist nature is put to the test when a brash new sous-chef joins her staff, the high-spirited and freewheeling Nick (AARON ECKHART). A rising culinary star himself, Nick favors opera while working and loves to make everyone around him laugh. His casual approach to both life and cuisine couldn’t be more different from Kate’s, yet the chemistry between them is undeniable…as is the discord, like forks clanging off a granite countertop.
It might be easier to deal with this turbulence at work if Kate wasn’t already off-balance at home, struggling to connect with her nine-year-old niece, Zoe (ABIGAIL BRESLIN), who has recently — and very unexpectedly — come to live with her. A bright, perceptive child, more comfortable with fish sticks than foie gras, Zoe is clearly out of place in Kate’s routine but Kate is determined to make a home for her…just as soon as she figures out how.