In the great restaurant of life, there are those who eat and those who get eaten. Raimundo Nonato finds an alternative way, a life of his own: he cooks in order to survive and find a place in society. He arrives in town without a penny in his pockets and starts working as help in a decadent bar, a nasty place, lost amid the urban desert. He sleeps in the storage room on the back, and under a cold neon light learns how to fry “pastel” and “coxinhas”, outdoing his “master”, Zulmiro, the owner of the bar. Nonato is ignorant, but talented. He knows how to work the kitchen, soon others realize it too. The first one to notice him, is Iria, a prostitute, who doesn’t know how to cook but loves to eat and starts an affair with him. Then, Giovanni, the owner of the Boccaccio (an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood), offers Nonato a job as his apprentice. A turn of events results in Nonato spending time in prison. For the prisoners and their boss, the violent Bujiù, Nonato is a savior; in fact soon their meager meals turn to a feast of exotic dishes orchestrated by Nonato’s magic. As a consequence of this, Nonato is given the following the nickname, a well suited one indeed: Rosemary.