Cooked (TV Show)

2 Min Read
Title — Cooked
Available on — Netflix
Production Country — United States
Release Date — 2016
As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the documentary series “Cooked,” created by Alex Gibney and based on the book by Michael Pollan, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan embarks on a culinary journey to explore the transformative power of cooking on food and its impact on our world. Throughout the series, Pollan delves into the history and cultural significance of cooking, showcasing how different cooking techniques have shaped human civilization.

The series is divided into four episodes, each focusing on one of the classical elements – fire, water, air, and earth. In the first episode, “Fire,” Pollan delves into the history of cooking with fire, tracing back to Aboriginal culture and ancient cooking methods. The episode vividly showcases the hunt for iguana, highlighting the primal connection between humans and the food they consume. It leaves viewers with a newfound appreciation for slow cooking over wood fire and the sensory experience it offers.

As the series progresses, Pollan delves into the role of water, air, and earth in cooking, exploring how these elements contribute to the flavors and textures of different dishes. Through his experiments in baking, brewing, and braising, Pollan demonstrates how cooking is not just a practical skill but a profound cultural and social practice that connects us as human beings.

With a focus on the art and science of cooking, “Cooked” aims to inspire viewers to rediscover the joy of preparing food and to appreciate the deep-rooted traditions and rituals associated with cooking. Through Pollan’s engaging storytelling and culinary explorations, the series offers a compelling insight into the natural history of transformation through food.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Michael Pollan

  • Michael Pollan – 4 episodes (2016)
  • Samin Nosrat – 1 episode (2016)
  • Isaac Pollan – 1 episode (2016)

💬 Reviews and feedback

Welcome to the flavorful world of “Cooked TV Show”! Just like a well-seasoned dish, this series has layers of depth that keep you coming back for more. It’s like the perfect recipe that blends cultural traditions, culinary artistry, and a pinch of eye-opening moments about the impact of big corporations on our food.

Imagine stepping into Michael Pollan’s kitchen as he embarks on a journey through the classical elements of fire, water, air, and earth in “Cooked.” It’s not just about preparing a meal; it’s a natural history of transformation where nature’s bounty is turned into delicious delights. This series beautifully captures the essence of cooking as both an art and a science, reminding us of the age-old tradition that brings people together.

Acting and Characters:

  • Michael Pollan shines as the host, bringing his passion for food to life in each episode. His exploration of food past and present through elemental categories adds a unique perspective to the narrative.


  • The direction in “Cooked” is top-notch, with visually stunning shots that capture the essence of cooking from various angles. The slow-motion sequences of food being prepared are not just mouth-watering but also mesmerizing.

Score and Cinematography:

  • The score in “Cooked” sets the perfect tone for each episode, enhancing the viewing experience. Combined with exquisite cinematography, it creates a feast for both the eyes and ears.

Production Design and Special Effects:

  • The production design in “Cooked” is impeccable, creating an immersive atmosphere that transports viewers into the heart of culinary traditions. The special effects add an extra layer of magic to the storytelling.

Editing and Pace:

  • The editing in “Cooked” is seamless, transitioning between scenes effortlessly to keep viewers engaged. The pace is just right, allowing enough time to savor each moment without feeling rushed.

Binge-watching Tips: To truly savor “Cooked,” consider watching each episode with a snack inspired by the featured element. Fire could be spicy chips, water could be refreshing fruit slices – get creative!

Have you ever watched another culinary show that resonated with you like “Cooked”? Perhaps “Chef’s Table” or “Salt Fat Acid Heat”? Share your favorite food-related series!

In conclusion, “Cooked TV Show” is a delectable feast for both food enthusiasts and those looking to explore the cultural significance of cooking. With its engaging host, stunning visuals, and insightful storytelling, this series deserves a solid rating of 9/10!

Pros Cons
Visually stunning Some viewers may find it slow-paced
Great exploration of cultural traditions Has some problematic aspects
Provides insight into the impact of big corporations on food Not suitable for viewers looking for fast-paced content
Informative and educational Some segments may not be engaging for all audiences


  • Cooked (TV series) - Wikipedia

    Cookedis a 2016 original Netflix documentary series created by Alex Gibney based on the book by Michael Pollan with the same title, starring Michael Pollan and Isaac Pollan. It explains the history and different aspects of cooking, and its ability to connect us as human beings.

    Genre Documentary
    Created by Alex Gibney
    Starring Michael Pollan

    Isaac Pollan

  • Cooked (TV Mini Series 2016) - IMDb



    • TV Mini Series
    • 2016
    • 1h

    As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.As he tries his hand at baking, brewing and braising, acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world.

    • Awards
      • 1 nomination

    Browse episodesSPONSOREDFeatured reviewHelps you fall in love with cooking again

  • Cooked | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix - YouTube

  • Cooked | Rotten Tomatoes

    CookedWhere to WatchCooked

    Watch Cooked with a subscription on Netflix.

    SeasonsCast & Crew

    Michael PollanHostMichael PollanExecutive ProducerAlex GibneyExecutive ProducerStacey OffmanExecutive ProducerCaroline SuhExecutive ProducerLisa NishimuraExecutive Producer

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the Netflix series “Cooked,” Michael Pollan delves into the history of food culture and the science behind cooking, exploring how food has evolved to present day based on the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. Each episode uncovers fascinating insights about the relationship between humans and food, shedding light on the transformative power of cooking.


In the first episode, Pollan highlights the significance of fire in human evolution. He explains how the discovery of cooking with fire distinguished Homo erectus from other primates. By applying heat to food, humans were able to transform it into a more digestible form, freeing up time and energy that could be used for other activities. This innovation not only led to physical changes in early humans but also fueled brain growth, ultimately shaping the human species as we know it today.


The second episode focuses on the tradition of one-pot cooking in India, contrasting it with the fast-paced American food industry. Pollan explores the communal aspect of cooking in Mumbai, where community kitchens address issues of wealth inequality and foster togetherness through shared meals. This communal cooking approach emphasizes equality and unity, highlighting the power of collective effort in creating something greater than the sum of its parts.


While details about the third episode are not provided, it can be inferred that Pollan continues to unravel the secrets of cooking by exploring the role of air in food preparation. Just as fire and water play crucial roles in cooking, air likely contributes to the transformative process of ingredients, offering new perspectives on the culinary world and human connection to food.


In the final episode, Pollan may delve into the relationship between food and the earth, examining how ingredients sourced from the land impact our culinary practices and health. By exploring the origins of our food and the ways in which we interact with the earth’s resources, Pollan likely uncovers valuable lessons about sustainability, nutrition, and the interconnectedness of food systems.

Overall, “Cooked” is not just a documentary series about food; it’s a journey through the evolution of human civilization, told through the lens of cooking and the elements. Each episode offers profound insights into the cultural, scientific, and social aspects of food, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship with what they eat and how it shapes our world.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

This TV show has been rated TV-14, which means it is suitable for viewers aged 14 and above. Parents are urged to exercise caution as the content may contain material that is inappropriate for children under 14.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Cooked” is a docuseries that delves into the relationship between humans and food, exploring the impact of natural elements on our ability to find, prepare, and consume food. The show emphasizes how cooking unites people and shapes our world. Here is a breakdown of the content parents may want to consider:

  • Sex & Nudity: The show does not contain any explicit sexual content or nudity.
  • Violence & Gore: There is minimal violence or gore in the series. It primarily focuses on the cooking process and food preparation.
  • Profanity: Occasional mild language may be present, but it is not frequent or intense.
  • Other Mature Content: The show’s main focus is on food, cooking techniques, and cultural aspects of cuisine. It promotes a deeper understanding of the food we consume.

Overall, “Cooked” is an informative and engaging series that can be enjoyed by viewers aged 14 and above, especially those interested in food culture and history.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix Cooked TV Show is available for streaming on Netflix. The TV show explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world, following acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan as he tries his hand at baking, brewing, and braising.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • I watch cooking change the cook, just as it transforms the food.
    Laura Esquivel
  • Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
    Harriet Van Horne
  • For anyone to just add an ingredient thinking you're making a dish, it's important that you highlight the origins, feel and embrace the culture. Food tells stories and sometimes the history makes you appreciate a certain cuisine a little more.
    Millie Peartree
  • What motivates me is to leave a legacy.
  • It's okay to play with your food.
    Emeril Lagasse

🤖Cooked Reddit Talks

Cooked TV Show


“Cooked” is a four-part Netflix documentary series hosted by Michael Pollan that explores the history and cultural significance of cooking through the lens of the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. The series delves into various aspects of food production, from industrial farming to organic gardening, and examines the impact of our food choices on our health and the environment.

Episode 1: Fire

  • Discusses the evolution of cooking from its origins around campfires to the modern kitchen.
  • Explores the role of fire in shaping human culture and society.
  • Examines the health benefits of traditional cooking methods, such as grilling and roasting.

Episode 2: Water

  • Explores the importance of water in cooking and its role in shaping global cuisines.
  • Discusses the challenges of water scarcity and the environmental impact of industrial agriculture.
  • Highlights the benefits of sustainable fishing practices and the importance of protecting marine ecosystems.

Episode 3: Air

  • Examines the role of air in cooking, from the fermentation of bread to the aging of cheese.
  • Explores the science behind bread-making and the art of sourdough.
  • Discusses the challenges of modern wheat production and the rise of gluten intolerance.

Episode 4: Earth

  • Delves into the relationship between soil, plants, and food.
  • Explores the principles of organic farming and sustainable agriculture.
  • Emphasizes the importance of biodiversity and the preservation of traditional seed varieties.

Key Topics and Themes

  • The importance of cooking: Pollan argues that cooking is not merely a means of sustenance but a fundamental human activity that connects us to our food, our culture, and our environment.
  • The decline of traditional cooking: The series highlights the decline of home cooking and the rise of processed foods, which has contributed to a number of health and environmental problems.
  • The need for sustainable food systems: Pollan emphasizes the importance of transitioning to more sustainable food production practices that protect the environment and ensure food security for future generations.
  • The role of the individual: The series encourages viewers to make informed choices about the food they eat and to support sustainable food systems.

Reviews and Reactions

“Cooked” has received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, who praised its beautiful cinematography, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking insights. The series has been lauded for its ability to spark conversations about the importance of food, cooking, and sustainability.

Some viewers have noted that the series can be somewhat slow-paced at times, but most agree that it is a worthwhile watch for anyone interested in food, cooking, or the environment.

Overall, “Cooked” is a well-crafted and informative documentary series that offers a fresh perspective on the importance of cooking and the challenges facing our food systems. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in food, health, or the environment.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the summary of “Cooked”?

In “Cooked,” Michael Pollan delves into the uncharted territory of his own kitchen to explore the transformative power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—in turning natural ingredients into delicious food and drinks.

What is the summary of cooking?

Cooking is defined as the act of utilizing heat to prepare food for consumption. It is considered both an art and a science and has been a fundamental part of human civilization throughout history.

Who is the host of “Cooked”?

In “Cooked,” Michael Pollan serves as the host as he delves into the past and present of food through the elemental categories of fire, water, air, and earth, exploring their impact on our culinary experiences.

What does “cooked” mean in Gen Z terminology?

In Gen Z slang, saying “I’m cooked” signifies being exhausted or done. It reflects a state of mental or physical fatigue, where one feels drained and unable to complete tasks, similar to the concept of a dish being fully cooked and requiring no further work.

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