The story is set mostly in an African-American community in New Orleans, America's most piquant city, before and after World War I. We meet a young girl named Tiana, who is cherished by her mother Eudora (voice of Oprah Winfrey) and father James (Terrence Howard). Her mom is a seamstress, her dad a hard-working restaurant owner who stirs up a mighty gumbo. He goes off to the Army and doesn't return. For Tiana as an adult (Anika Noni Rose) life is a struggle, but she holds fast to her dream of opening a restaurant and serving up her dad's gumbo (with just a soupcon more red sauce).