New students arrive at Cabrillo College's culinary program. Gabe is a former gang member looking to turn his life around after a recent stint in prison. Amalia, stay-at-home mom of four, is eager to take on new responsibilities but nervous about accepting a role other than wife and mother. Kim regrets dropping out of culinary school decades ago and is ready to prove herself, despite her reluctant husband. Jim, a Navy veteran, suffers with a terrible injury that left him jobless and homeless eight years ago, is seeking a better life. The students get thrown into the fire with their first catering class assignment, leading to a conflict between Jim and his professor.
Kim has her first shot at showing her skills when she's tapped to be Head Chef in the school's student-run restaurant, despite having no professional culinary experience. Gabe's home life interferes with his classes and threatens his chances of staying in school. After a conflict with his catering professor, Jim questions his future at culinary school.
New student Matheus reveals a life-threatening illness that could destroy his culinary dreams. Jim makes a final decision about his future at culinary school. When an unexpected catering assignment pops up, Amalia has to swallow her emotions and lean on her teenage daughter.
Gabe's absences begin to pile up, leaving him unprepared for the class mid-term. Kim attempts to jump-start her career by getting an internship at a well-known restaurant, but leaves the interview with more questions than before. After repeatedly calling out sick from work, Matt debates whether or not to reveal his illness to his boss.
A simple assignment in wine class leads to a potentially life-changing conflict between Kim and her husband, Steve. Meanwhile Gabriel and his friends reminisce about their troubled past, and an unlikely professor takes Gabriel under his wing to help him to turn things around. Amalia tries to prove herself by competing against her fellow classmates for a chance to have her dish put on the school's restaurant menu.
Under the pressure of school, work and managing his disease, Matt begins to drink heavily and worries his friends. Amalia is forced to choose between school and family when her daughter's play conflicts with an important wine class. Gabriel makes a last-ditch attempt to rescue his restaurant class grade by putting in extra hours to make up the time he's lost.
When Kim wants to enroll in additional classes at a more expensive culinary school, tensions with Steve come to a head, as the two get into their biggest battle yet. After a heart to heart with Amalia, Matt seeks help for his drinking and learns how to better deal with his disease. After struggling through restaurant class the entire semester, Gabriel faces his biggest challenge when he is assigned the role of Head Chef. Gabriel hopes his performance will be good enough to save his grade and prove himself to his professors.
After an emotional family meeting, Amalia struggles with whether or not to postpone her culinary dream and go back to being a full-time mom. When symptoms of Matt's disease begin to resurface, his doctor urges him to undergo chemotherapy, despite the effects it will have on him during finals week. After their blowout fight, Kim tries to convince Steve to go along with her plan to take on a new school with higher tuition. Gabriel hopes his recent efforts in restaurant class will be enough to ace the final exam and pass the class.