Master chef Kate Armstrong lives her life like she runs her kitchen at an upscale, trendy Manhattan eatery, with a no-nonsense intensity that both captivates and intimidates everyone around her. Kate's perfectionist nature is put to the test when she "inherits" her nine-year-old niece Zoe, while contending with a brash new sous-chef who joins her staff. High-spirited and freewheeling, Nick Palmer couldn't be more different from Kate, yet the chemistry between them is undeniable. As the weeks progress, Kate is not sure what steams her more--that Nick's talent scores big points with 22 Bleecker's owner, Paula, and its discriminating clientele, or that his easygoing charm quickly wins over the shy Zoe, who finds it easier to open up to him than to her aunt. But when he challenges the boundary between rivalry and romance, Kate finds herself questioning, for the first time in years, some of the choices and beliefs that have made her so self-sufficient and so safe. If she wants to forge a real bond with Zoe, find happiness with Nick and rediscover her appetite for life, Kate will have to try something bold and new, and learn to express herself outside the realm of her kitchen.