A perfectionist chef must deal with the arrival of both her niece to live with her and her cute sous-chef with a clashing approach toward cooking. Kate Armstrong expects the best out of everyone-- perhaps bordering on too much. Her restaurant in Manhattan is incredibly popular, but she runs her kitchen like a dictator, refusing to let any dish go out before she has approved it herself, keeping all of her underlings on a tight leash, and personally seeing to it whenever anyone foolish enough decides to insult her cooking or complain about a dish. Her boss, Paula, insists on her going to therapy if she is going to remain the chef in the kitchen. Her life takes an unexpected turn, however, when her sister dies in a car crash, and her niece, Zoe, has to come live with her. Kate doesn't feel ready for the hardships of being a mother, as sensitivity isn't her thing and she doesn't handle the unexpected terribly well. To make matters even worse, due to her added stress of becoming a mother, Paula hires Nick, an up-and-comer in the cooking industry, who specifically requested to work as the sous-chef for Kate instead of having his own kitchen elsewhere. Nick runs his kitchen, however, in a way that completely clashes with Kate-- perfectionism is his polar opposite, as he thrives on chaos and jokes around with the employees during the dinner rush at the restaurant. Paula and Nick butt heads, but they also begin to slowly fall for one another, especially when Kate sees how terrific Nick is in getting Zoe settled into her new Manhattan life with Kate. Kate resists as long as she can, but she eventually gives in and lets Nick into her heart... just in time for Paula to offer Nick the job as head chef, which breaks Kate's heart as she's far too proud to love the man who took her position. However, eventually she talks it through with Nick, who reciprocates her feelings, and they both leaving, opening a new restaurant of their own, with Zoe in tow.
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Best part of story, including ending:
This is a generic romantic comedy, serviceable for fans of the genre and boring for others. Zeta-Jones and Eckhart share fine chemistry, however.
Best scene in story:
Kate is trying to get a depressed Zoe to eat, so she serves her a gourmet meal-- a fish with the head still attached. Needless to say, this grosses out Zoe.
Opinion about the main character:
Kate is controlling, but she is a hard worker and she means well. Her circumstances, especially involving Zoe, are sympathetic enough to keep her engaging.