Netflix to Launch Alex Gibney and Michael Pollan’s Docu-Series ‘Cooked’


The world of streaming services is ever-growing, but Netflix has the competition cornered when it comes to food-related docu-series. Jiro Dreams of Sushi got the whole fad of beautifully produced food porn off to a healthy start a few years ago, and that was followed up by Netflix’s own series from that film’s creators, Chef’s Table. Now, the streaming service is set to air a four-part show called Cooked, from Alex Gibney and Michael Pollan, inspired by Pollan’s book of the same name.

Set to premiere February 19, the show examines the “primal human need” to cook and eat food. Cooked looks to be the Airbender of food shows, as one of each of its four episodes will focus on a different element (fire, water, air, and earth) and its necessity in preparing and enjoying food.

In exploring the primal nature of food, the show will travel around the world to different cultures to discover the many ways we’ve developed ways to facilitate our need to eat. We’ll see an Aboriginal tribe in Australia eating monitor lizards, a Benedictine nun and microbiologist making cheese, an ancient Moroccan granary that uses water to power production, and a group of Peruvian brewers who us saliva to ferment a traditional beverage, chicha.

Alex Gibney is perhaps best known for his films Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side. Michael Pollan is a food writer who specializes in pop-y dramatizations of idiosyncratic food history, most notably in The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Oh, also, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, which serves as the inspiration for this series.