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|Freddie Highmore||Nigel Slater|
|Helena Bonham Carter||Mrs. Potter|
Young Nigel Slater (Oscar Kennedy) is keen on cooking while his mother (Victoria Hamilton) - who suffers from chronic asthma - is a poor cook whose speciality is toast. As her illness worsens, so does Nigel's relationship with his father Alan (Ken Stott). After Nigel's mother dies, his father begins to spend his evenings with newly divorced cleaner Mrs. Potter (Helena Bonham Carter), whose signature lemon meringue pie is a hit with Mr. Slater; Nigel would later try to extract the recipe from her. Alan and Mrs. Potter embark on a relationship, and soon both move to a remote part of the Herefordshire countryside with Nigel, who dislikes his father's new partner.As a teenager, Nigel (Freddie Highmore) finds solace in home economics classes at school, and uses his improved culinary skills to gain his father's affections, thus becoming Mrs Potter's rival. The excessive food causes Mr. Slater to gain weight and become more temperamental. Nigel soon lands a job in the kitchen of his local pub to avoid Mrs. Potter, and falls in love with the landlady's son; the relationship is cut short when the latter leaves town.When Mr. Slater dies from an implied heart attack from the food that Mrs. Potter has been feeding him, Nigel's mind is set as he packs a bag for London, leaving Mrs. Potter behind. While leaving the country home, Nigel thanks Mrs. Potter and to her confusion, walks off, vowing to never see or speak to her again. He soon arrives at The Savoy Hotel where he is offered a job in the kitchen by a chef portrayed by the real Nigel Slater.