[edit: I still plan on adding the locations for all the vendor’d recipes and discuss high-end cooking ]
I looked into Cooking to see what the top-end foods available to us are. There’s really only one beneficial effect and that’s +Stamina/Spirit. There’s plenty of recipes available to us that provide +6 Sta/Spi, but there’s only two that provide +8 Sta/Spi.
There’s also Smoked Sagefish that provides +4 Mp5, which I thought Mp5 was no longer in-game, but there may be some behind-the-scene conversion to Spirit. Even then, the effect might be less than +6 Spirit from the other food. I’ll check later. I would think the Smoked Sagefish would only be good if you’re dungeon running (assuming its effect is still as advertised). Stamina food is too good to pass up in PvP.
There’s also Captain Rumsey’s Lager which gives +10 Fishing.
The minute you get Cooking, you can get to 35 just on Spice Bread with vendor mats so its a decent start to a prof. There’s not too terribly much else to say other than “Cook what you got”. The other thing worth noting is that the daily Cooking quests give you +1 Cooking skill (as well as useless “Chef’s Award” currency). Our cap is 375 as going further than that costs 35g and we have a 10g limit.
There’s a few recipes that give you some mildly interesting buffs that don’t improve any stats. They’re just for flavor and I’ll probably add them at a later date.
“just for flavor”…get it?