Tony Chu lives in a society where the government has outlawed poultry due to the contagion bird flu. His brother Chow Chu was a famous TV chef who had a nervous breakdown live on air, ranting about the inadequacies of substitute chicken products.
After a chance run in with a serial killer Tracy Lee Cobb, who was posing as a chef in a black market chicken restaurant, Tony's partner John Colby was seriously wounded. Chu chased down the killer into a back alley where he committed suicide. Chu was forced to digest the killer's flesh in order to learn the identities of his other victims. Although it provided him with positive identifications, his methods caused problems for his superiors.
The success of his work brought him to the attention of the FDA, one of the most powerful agencies in America. In exchange for surgery to repair his former partner's face, Chu agrees to work for the FDA along side Agent Mason Savoy, a fellow cibopath. However, at the FDA, life is made difficult by his spiteful new boss, Mike Applebee, who forces him to consume everything from rotting human remains to dead dogs. While investigating the death of health inspector Evan Pepper, Chu encounters food critic and saboscrivner Amelia Mintz, and falls in love with her. Chu discovers that his new partner, Savoy, was responsible for the murder of the health inspector, and tries to take him in. Savoy bites off Tony's ear, threatening to eat it and go after Tony's family.