The docus-series, set to premiere Feb. 19 on the streamer, looks at the “primal human need” to cook and issues a call for people to reclaim lost culinary traditions at home and restore balance to their lives. “Cooked” comes from best-selling food writer Pollan (“The Botany of Desire,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” “In Defense of Food”) and Gibney, whose films include “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” and “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”
The series’ four episodes each centers on one of the physical elements used throughout the history of cooking: fire, water, air and earth. In each segment, Pollan returns to his kitchen in Berkeley, Calif., to deliver his core message that cooking our own meals is the single best thing we can do to take charge of our health and well being.
Personalities and places featured in “Cooked” include an Aboriginal tribe in Western Australia that fire-roasts monitor lizards; a Connecticut Benedictine nun and microbiologist who makes traditional French cheese; Peruvian brewers who use human saliva to ferment a traditional beverage; and an ancient Moroccan granary powered by rivers.
The series is a co-production of Netflix and Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. Pollan, Gibney, Stacey Offman, Caroline Suh, Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo serve as executive producers.
Netflix has been active in producing and acquiring documentary films and series over the last few years. This week two of the company’s original docus — “What Happened Miss Simone?” and “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” — snagged Oscar nominations, the third straight year it has been nominated in the category.
One of Netflix’s most recent documentary launches, true-crime series “Making a Murderer,” has garnered widespread interest and drawn comparisons to the first season of popular podcast “Serial.”
Pictured: Alex Gibney (left) and Michael Pollan.