Learn about ancient culinary traditions on Netflix’s Cooked

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After profiling renowned chefs in its 2015 series Chef’s Table, Netflix is heading back into the culinary world with Cooked, which airs Feb 19.

This four-episode docuseries is based on the 2013 book Cooked: A Natural Industry Of Transformation by Michael Pollan. The American food writer’s onscreen adaptation looks at the ancient culinary traditions that have shaped human lives and how these are under threat from the modern food industry.

“When we learned to cook is when we became truly human,” says Pollan.

Like the book, his upcoming Netflix docuseries will be split into four parts, each examining one of the four elements – fire, water, air and Earth – and the different culinary practices and traditions associated with them.

Cooked by Michael Pollan

The presenter starts off with fire, meeting an Aboriginal tribe in Australia and exploring barbecue cooking techniques and how these relate to ancient culinary practices. For the water episode, Pollan heads to India and looks at food processing methods. Bread and gluten are examined in the episode on air, while the earth-based installment examines fermentation methods.

As well as visiting an Aboriginal tribe, Cooked sees Pollan meeting an American nun making traditional French cheese and Peruvian brewers using human saliva to ferment beer.

Outlining and investigating these historical traditions has led Pollan to believe that modern consumers have lost touch with how food got to their plates. He is also critical of the food industry for trying to deliberately dismantle the culture of home cooking.

The series has been produced by Alex Gibney, winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2008 with Taxi To The Dark Side. – AFP Relaxnews


A scene from Cooked, set to premiere on Netflix this weekend.


The four-episode docuseries Cooked is based on the 2013 book Cooked: A Natural Industry Of Transformation by Michael Pollan.

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