From best-selling author Michael Pollan and Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, the documentary series Cooked examines the primal human need to cook. It also issues a clarion call for a return to the kitchen so we can reclaim lost traditions and restore balance in our lives. Based on Pollan’s 2013 book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”, each of the four episodes examines one of the physical elements used throughout the ages to transform raw ingredients into delicious dishes: fire, water, air and earth.
In Cooked - Fire, director Alex Gibney introduces us to the essential idea of how cooking made us human and how it began: with fire. Through cooking with fire, Gibney links the past to the present, beginning with a group of aboriginal people from Western Australia who travel from the modern conveniences of home to hunt in the outback at the weekend. In Berkeley, California, Pollan constructs a backyard barbecue and roasts an entire butchered pig following the technique he learned from pit master Ed Mitchell, a legend at his craft from eastern North Carolina.