Amanda Shelton (Sarah Michelle Gellar) inherits her late mother's restaurant, but lacks her mother's ability to cook. The restaurant is failing when Amanda meets a mysterious and possibly magical man at the local market. He introduces himself as Gene O'Reilly and claims to be an old friend of her mother's. He sells her crabs, one of which escapes cooking to become her personal mascot. This special crab is magical and it casts spells, with a wave of its claw. Amanda meets her love interest at the market, Tom Bartlett (Sean Patrick Flanery), a department store manager opening an ambitious new restaurant inside his store.
It is never explicitly explained why, but this eventful day transforms Amanda into a miraculous food witch; people who now eat her impressive new dishes fall under her accidental spells (for example, when a teardrop falls into one of the dishes the people eating it end up in tears). These are inspired by her emotions and created with the help of her magic crab. Amanda saves her restaurant overnight, and her relationship with Tom blossoms just as fast. However, Tom, being a career-minded control freak, panics when he realizes that not only could she be a witch who could be casting spells on him, but that his own emotions are getting the best of him, and he promptly dumps her. When Amanda goes to confront Tom one last time at his office, she witnesses the violent tantrum and resignation of a celebrity French chef hired for the opening of Tom's new restaurant.
When it is discovered that Amanda is in fact the hot new chef in town everyone is talking about, she is hired on the spot, despite Tom's protests. Once Amanda overcomes her self-doubts and insecurities, she reaches her full potential as a chef, and the opening is a complete success. Though Tom refuses to taste Amanda's food during the opening, he eventually admits to himself he was wrong to reject Amanda because she made him feel emotional. He finally decides to embrace his feelings for her and goes after her. At the last minute, he reaches her with his own personal magic (a paper airplane), and the two reconcile on the dance floor.