Bender cooks for the Planet Express crew and the meals he produces are awful. Also, Zoidberg accidentally damages a ship-in-a-bottle that Professor Farnsworth has made. Zoidberg finds himself unable to pay for the damage on the ship because he is poor and fearing that he would get fired for being unable to pay for the ship, He pins the blame on Fry for the damage and the Professor demands that Fry pay $10 for the material cost.
Running away, Bender hopes Elzar will teach him how to cook, but Elzar refuses. Following two hobos, Bender lands on the biggest hobo joint in the universe, Bumbase Alpha. There Bender meets Helmut Spargle, a legendary cook who lost his television show when Elzar replaced him after his show's sponsor needed a younger host. Spargle begins to teach Bender how to cook in order to get revenge.
Once Bender is finished with his training he accidentally kills Spargle by causing his stomach to explode with the meal he made. With his dying breath, Spargle reveals the secret to great cooking and gives him a liquid to use whenever he needs to spice up a food, the essence of pure flavor.
Bender challenges Elzar to a cook-off on Iron Cook, a coliseum studio. He applies the liquid that Sparkle gave him and wins. During the contest, Zoidberg becomes remorseful for framing Fry when Fry is unable to pay for a commemorative turkey baster. Zoidberg publicly apologizes before trying to commit sepukku honorably using a ceremonial Wakizashi, only to damage the sword and blame Fry.
When the Professor examines the liquid in the bottle Spargel gave Bender, it turns out the liquid was water laced with LSD. The episode closes with the characters joyfully anticipating a brunch prepared with plenty of Bender's new found "confidence".