Snubbed by aristocratic neighbour Lord Frampton at a coming-of-age ball, Donald Oliver dreams of the day he'll have his vengeance. Laura Oliver, beautiful and tempestuous, falls in love with Giovanni, an Italian ex-prisoner-of-war, now a humble cook. Disdaining her father's snobbishness - and his wrath - the couple flee to London. Giovanni and Laura arrive in a city that has not yet reawoken after the traumas of war.
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Angelica Angelotti has grown up in her parents' Italian food business. Now she is using her cooking talent to strike out on her own, moving to Paris to go to culinary school. There, among the excitement and wild emotion of the student barricades, she falls in love with her charismatic but unreliable cousin, Mario - a manic-depressive 10 years older than her whom her mother had sacked from their restaurant.