ELIOT has always been taking care of his mother. Yes, her depression is probably the cause of his many anxiety attacks, but what other choice does he have? His long-life dream is to become a chef, but his mother’s needs come before everything else, and he has to leave school and a promising internship to get a job and pay for her new medical bills. Every time he talks about asking help from her mother’s brothers and sisters, her mother goes crazy. He abandons the idea. He mans up.
The chef that has teaching him in the internship, DENIS, tracks him down and goes to see him in the fast-food where he now works, seemingly forever. He invites himself to dinner and understands the situation. Being a man without a son, married to his carrier, and seeing a lot himself in Eliot, he takes the young man under his wing. He gets his mother a spot in a facility where she will be taken care of and where she will get professional help. Eliot refuses. Is it his job and responsability to be there. He feels that it is probably his fault if she is feeling this way.
But a few weeks later, HIS MOTHER ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT SUICIDE.
She is taken into the hospital and then transferred to the facility. Eliot sees the bills that he is going to have to pay, even with the discount and the help that Denis has provided. He spends everything he has and then understands that he has only one chance left: tracking down his long-lost family and asking them for help.
He takes their old car and travels through the United-States in the search of his uncle and his aunt.
There, he meets his cousins, his second cousins, his third cousins. He crashes on family weddings and family funerals. Hundreds of family tell him their name, their age, how they are related. All of them, though, clearly feel uneasy about his mother and none of them seem ready to help.
It takes Eliot courage to ask the same questions over and over again. Why is his mom sad? Does anyone know? Please?
One day, he gets the answer. It goes back to his grandmother and the Second World War, his grandmother in a concentration camp where she was the joy and the beauty of many nazis. It goes back to how she and a nazi had a sort of friendship after a while and how he was killed right after the war. It goes back to the shame, and how the shame turned into depression, and how depression turned into Eliot’s panic attacks.
Eliot loses it and commits mistake after mistake. He disappoints the people who have come to love him, parties hard and breaks the heart of his little cousin, NATALIA, who looked up to him and depended on him. He doesn’t want to know anything of family, cooking, responsabilities. He lets go.
It is only when he wakes up on the street of an unknown city, with no money for a bus nor a bottle of water, surrounded by strangers, hungry, that he is ready to accept what he has learnt and be reborn.
Natalia is the first one to forgive him and turns the family around. Slowly, Eliot comes back to life, starts not only cooking but also making money. He returns the hospital’s and Denis’ calls.
Within a few months, Eliot’s mother does get better. Eliot and she talk about the past and feel that finally his grandmother’s ghost was leaving them. Denis is impressed by Eliot’s improvements, by his recipe book and new and original mixes of spices and ingredients that he has found along his trip. He gives him a chance to work in his kitchen.
Eliot finally gets a family, a chance to be young and also the possibility of fulfiling his long-life dream of one day being a chef.