A reputed chef, Cigalon, opens a restaurant in a small village in Provence. Proud of his past culinary achievements, he makes no effort to attract local customers, who lack the refinement to appreciate his cuisine. A former laundry woman, Madame Toffi, then opens a restaurant, next door to Cigalon’s. Whilst Cigalon’s restaurant remains empty, Madame Toffi’s is always busy. Annoyed by this competition, Cigalon offers Madame Toffi a proposal of marriage, so that he can take over her restaurant. When she turns him down, he declares war and resorts to under-hand tactics to put off her customers. Cigalon diverts a well-dressed man into his restaurant and feeds him like a king. When it comes to paying the bill, the man says he has no money. To avoid a scandal, Cigalon is compelled not to press charges against him - an act of generosity which so impresses Madame Toffi that she agrees to marry him.