Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Sienna Miller (Factory Girl)
Omar Sy (Jurassic World)
Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War)
Riccardo Scamarcio (Eden Is West)
Sam Keeley (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Alicia Vikander (Jason Bourne)
Matthew Rhys (Jungle Book)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
Emma Thompson (Men In BLack 3)
Lily James (Cinderella)
Sarah Greene (Noble)
Three years ago, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) worked at one of the premier restaurants in Paris, which his mentor Jean-Luc owned. His drug use and manic drive for perfection caused him to implode, taking the restaurant and a number of his friends’ careers with him. Adam disappeared, sobered up, and sentenced himself to shucking one million oysters at a bar in New Orleans. When Adam finishes shucking his millionth oyster he returns to London with a plan to regain his former glory and go for his third Michelin star.After arriving in London, Adam begins to look up his old colleagues. Jean-Luc’s former maître d’hôtel Tony (Daniel Brühl) now manages his father’s hotel. Adam wants to take over the hotel’s restaurant, but Tony doesn’t trust him after his behavior in Paris. Adam soon learns that Jean-Luc died and feels deep remorse for how he hurt his mentor. Adam visits his friend Conti (Henry Goodman) at the restaurant Conti owns. He takes a liking to Conti’s sous-chef Helene (Sienna Miller), but Helene finds him old-fashioned and unbearably conceited. Adam locates Michel (Omar Sy), another of his friends from Jean-Luc’s, but Michel opened his own restaurant. Feeling betrayed, Adam released rats in Michel’s kitchen and reported him to a health inspector, which led to the restaurant’s closure. Michel forgives Adam and agrees to work for him. Adam pays a visit to Reece’s, a cutting edge eatery run by Reece (Matthew Rhys), with whom he has a long-standing rivalry. Reece does not forgive him. Adam also plans to employ another Jean-Luc protege, Max (Riccardo Scamarcio), after he is released from prison. Unfortunately, Adam’s reappearance in Europe attracts the attention of his former drug dealer. Eventually, Tony kicks Adam out of his family’s hotel. Adam seeks out chef-on-the-rise David (Sam Keeley), who agrees to work at Adam’s restaurant and let Adam stay in his apartment.
Adam contacts famed restaurant critic Simone (Uma Thurman) and convinces her to dine at Tony’s hotel. Simone’s review of Adam’s food is favorable enough that Tony and his father agree to renovate their hotel’s kitchen and hire Adam as the head chef. They require Adam to submit to weekly drug tests with Tony’s psychiatrist Dr. Rosshilde (Emma Thompson), but Adam refuses to see her privately. He throws himself into preparing for his restaurant Langhams’ grand opening. Max is released from prison and joins Adam’s team. Helene rebuffs further job offers until Conti gently fires her. He sends her to the hotel’s kitchen, where Helene tears into Adam for getting her fired. Adam offers her a much higher salary and she agrees to work at Langhams. The opening night turns into a disaster, and Adam closes the restaurant early. He becomes furious with everyone, especially Helene. After humiliating her in front of her colleagues and becoming physically aggressive with her, Helene quits.
Adam goes on talk shows to generate interest in the restaurant. He manages to bring another famous restaurant critic to eat at Langhams. The critic’s favorable review cements Langhams as one of London’s new go-to eateries and drives Reece into a frothing rage. Tony visits Helene to convince her to return to Langhams. He offers double her salary and some insight on Adam’s behavior. Helene agrees and Adam treats her with more respect. However, their relationship hits a bump when Adam refuses Helene’s request for an afternoon off to hold a birthday party for daughter Lily (Lexie Benbow-Hart). A few days later, Tony enters the kitchen and asks Adam to make a birthday cake, to which he refuses, though Tony says a diner has requested one. The kitchen staff explain that Tony learned about Helene’s denied request and offered to watch Lily at the hotel. Adam delivers the cake to Lily in the dining room and makes an effort to connect with her, improving his relationship with Helene.
Once Langhams has established itself, Tony and Adam prepare to earn a Michelin star. Adam continues to fend off his drug dealer’s collectors and to see Dr. Rosshilde for drug tests. He remains impervious to her judgments about his sobriety and his perfectionism but, when asked, admits he knows Tony is in love with him. When Adam receives an invitation to the reopening of Reece’s restaurant, he asks Helene to accompany him. Adam and Reece manage to be civil, but the night derails when Adam spots Jean-Luc’s daughter Anne Marie (Alicia Vikander), who Adam used to date. Adam is surprised when Anne Marie treats him kindly, especially since he abandoned her three years ago and didn’t attend her father’s funeral. Anne Marie has also gotten clean and sober. Helene finds him at a fish market the next morning after he wandered around the whole night mulling over what went wrong in Paris. Jean-Luc was more of a father figure to him than his own dad, and he defined himself by his prowess as a chef. He loved the volatile fast-paced environment of the kitchen and thrived until he didn’t anymore, began using drugs and eventually came unhinged. He now wants to achieve greatness and doesn’t know how to handle failure.Adam and Helene share their first kiss in front of the restaurant that morning. Tony interrupts them, but he’s not alone. The drug dealer’s henchmen have returned, and they want Adam to go with them. He hands the fish to Helene and leaves with them. Tony tells Helene not to worry because Adam can handle himself. That evening, Helene discovers a beaten Adam outside the kitchen entrance. Tony and Helene want to take Adam to the hospital, but before they can do much more than clean him-up, they learn that two Michelin reviewers have come to Langhams. Everyone rushes about in a frenzy, and Adam barely holds things together. They serve the reviewers’ meals but minutes later, the two uneaten meals are sent back because their soup was too spicy. Michel reveals he sprinkled cayenne pepper into the soup, as revenge for what Adam did to him in Paris. After Michel leaves, Adam laughs and leaves as well.
Adam wanders around London, climbs onto the railing of Waterloo Bridge and seems to consider jumping. Later he arrives at Reece’s restaurant drunk and bangs on the windows until the cooks let him in and he makes a nuisance of himself in the kitchen. When he pulls a sous-vide bag over his head Reece dismisses his kitchen staff, rips the bag off Adam’s head and cradles Adam when he breaks down. The next morning, Reece says that he knows Adam is the better chef and appreciates Adam’s work because it pushes him to keep experimenting. They part on far better terms. Adam visits Dr. Rosshilde and attends his first group therapy session. When he returns to the hotel, he learns that Anne Marie paid his drug debt. She also gives him her father’s knives and urges him to be with Helene. Tony and Helene find Adam in his hotel room and tell him that the two men the night before were not Michelin reviewers. Adam is so thrilled to have another chance at getting a Michelin star, he kisses Tony. Visibly ruffled by the exchange, Tony leaves Helene with Adam to ensure he doesn’t have a concussion and to dress his wounds. The scene ends with Adam and Helene sharing a passionate kiss. Adam changes the way he runs the kitchen. He listens to Helene and Max’s input, and is more supportive of David. When the real Michelin reviewers come to the Langham, he works with the other chefs, especially Helene, to serve a superb meal and receive their third star. The film ends with Adam finally sharing a meal with his cooks and a few laughs.Well acted and really interesting film. A true to life portrait of the hard graft in the professional kitchen.