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 - Air director Ryan Miller takes the viewer on a journey to understand how food feeds and interconnects cultures around the world. Michael Pollan and modernist cuisine guru Nathan Myhrvold explain why food with air pockets in it, such as bread, appeals to us so much, and the importance of bread throughout history in maintaining a civil society. The episode travels in time from the ancient Egypt of 6,000 years ago, when bread-making first began, to a communal oven in contemporary Morocco where a baker bemoans the fading tradition of neighborhood bakeries, to Pollan’s kitchen in Berkeley, California.