What would you risk to change the recipe of your life?
Seventeen-year-old J'aime McWilliams is a wannabe cook with zero kitchen skills and chef dreams that are bigger than her food pantry ingredients. Food scarcity is real for her; she lives each day not knowing where her next meal is going to come from.
After the death of J'aime's chronically ill mom, and running from debt collectors, her dad drags her from Chicago to Hannaville, Missouri. It's a tiny rural town with a new casino, and they both snag jobs at the Silver Dollar Casino Buffet. J'aime is just a server, so she practices her cooking skills at home. When she burns through her last saucepan, J'aime realizes her chef fantasy requires real chef training. She spots the fierce chopping techniques of eighteen-year-old Robert Rios. Robert's family owns a popular restaurant, but he secretly longs to run his own food truck. Hiding out in an abandoned Home EC room, they invent new recipes, fueling their desire for food (and each other).
To make their chef dreams come true, J'aime suggests they enter a Food Network contest. Taking this step together stirs up chaos and consequences for her and for Robert. J'aime must face hard truths about her family and learn that no matter what life dishes up, we all have the inner-strength to keep our hearts full.
Proceeds from Kitchen of My Heart are donated to national food banks.