||This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.
No non-minor changes should be made without consulting the author. Changes or questions should be discussed on the talk page.
Cooking Guide 1.0
Asura Server, Sons of Valkrum Linkshell
Disclaimer: I did my research using ffxiah.com and have taken most of my crafts up to level 60+ and am in the process of taking an Alchemy mule up to 100. Prices and availability varies by server, but I tend to focus on power-crafting, especially items bought and re-sold to NPCs.
 Cooking Tips
- 1. Best starter craft. Low costs, easy recipes, everyone eats.
- 2. Woodworking 15 is the only highest sub-craft required and not until mid-90s.
- 3. Learn which Regional Vendors, NPC merchants, and Guild Merchants carry which items, at what prices, and according to the weekly Conquest results. NPCs almost always sell the raw ingredients you need at less than AH prices.
- 4. Fame fame fame. As most raw ingredients are cheap, small differences make a bigger difference percentage-wise than in other crafters. For example, 10 gil in a synth that costs 10k isn't much, but 10 gil in a synth that costs 200 gil is a big deal.
- 5. Fishing is fun and a good source of gil, but it adds exactly nothing to your profits. If the fish were that valuable, you’d sell them on AH. Same goes with Harvesting, Chocobo Digging, or Gardening; use those activities to solve supply issues, such as no supply or extremely variable supply.
- 6. If you intend to get to Cooking 100, get Key Items: Raw Fish Handling and Noodle Kneading. Getting to Cooking 100 is quite possible without Sushi and Noodle dishes, but they are incredible money-makers and one of the best ways to make your gil back. Also, Fishing and Cooking go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.
- 7. Windurst and San d'Oria are the best cities for Cooking Mules; the former has the guild and the latter has Grocery NPCs and better Regional Vendors for Chefs. It doesn’t matter which you chose, so long as you can get to both when needed; there are certain items that you just can’t send enough of via delivery but will still need in huge quantities.
- NB: The new Fields of Valor system will let you collect tabs, which you can use for Repatriation. This will send you to your Home City, not your Home Point. Have your Home City in one place and set your Home Point in the other city for easier transit. This is also a god-send for #4 above.
- 9. As noted in the Guide below, some items are profitable even when selling to NPCs. Take full advantage of these items as they are essentially free skill-ups. The profits might be slim, but you can always go back later to make profitable items.
- 10. Advanced Advice: This is the most perverse tip I’ve ever written. “Finish CoP Missions up to 4-1.” At that point, the Tavnazian Regional Vendors open up and sell Ground Wasabi in large quantities, making sushi much more possible. The Tenshodo do sell both it and Rice Vinegar but in limited supply only.
 The Guide Itself
- Hard-Boiled Egg (6)-Fire Crystal, Bird Egg, Distilled Water-Eggs are 50 each from Airship Vendors and this will cost you just a bit above the Crystal cost every synth but will still be incredibly cheap. If you can farm the crystals, you could even make a slight profit, depending on AH cycles.
- Orange Juice (10)-Water Crystal, Saruta Orange x4-Sarutabaruta Regional Vendor or Sandy citizens when Sandy is 1st in Conquest, just power-craft. All in all, getting from 0-10 should have cost you the crystals plus 3-4k tops.
TEST ITEM: Salmon Sub: Earth Crystal, Crying Mustard, Black Bread, Apple Vinegar, La Theine Cabbage, Smoked Salmon, Mithran Tomato: Test items for Cooking are unbelievably complex compared to the vast majority of recipes. You can buy this at the Guildshop. Alternatively, I've seen some guides that suggest buying a stack of each ingredient, make 12, and then sell the other 11 at AH/Bazaar.
- Bug Broth (15)-Water Crystal, Shell Bugx2, Lugwormx2—Now, it's a bridge between whatever you did up to 10 or so, until you feel comfortable with Selbina Butter. Cheap as anything to make, Shell Bug costs varying a bit, but NPC price was nerfed. At high level crafting, the HQ Jugs from this are the new cheap jug of choice.
TEST ITEM: Pea Soup: Fire Crystal, Blue Peas x3, Wild Onion, Dried Marjoram, Distilled Water: See previous test item for annoyance factor, mostly the Wild Onion but also because you can buy this at the Guildshop for cheap.
- Baked Popoto (22)-Fire Crystal, Selbina Butter, Popoto-Good use of that butter you just made to get another level or two, but this is an optional bridge. NPC these for the cost of ingredients and maybe 30-50% the cost of the crystal.
- Insect Ball (29)-Earth Crystal, Little Worm, Millioncorn, Distilled Water—Best advice on these things is to figure out your costs including breaks, add a 10% margin for profit, and then put them on sale in your bazaar overnight in Windurst. Because each synth makes a full stack, you can’t sell them fast enough. The 10% mark-up won’t concern fishermen; with 10,000 Moat Carp to catch, they’ve got other priorities.
TEST ITEM: Vegetable Gruel: Fire Crystal, San d'Orian Flour, Chamomile, Frost Turnip, Rarab Tail, Distilled Water, Beaugreens: You can replace the Flour and Beaugreens with Tarutaru Rice and Batagreens if needed, but the flour is cheaper and easier to get solo. Again, buy from Guild; you'll hate yourself less.
TEST ITEM: Meat Mithkabob-Fire Crystal, Cockatrice Meat, Wild Onion, Mhaura Garlic, Kazham Peppers-Buy one from AH or Guild Shop. Hold off on making this for profit until you can HQ them.
- Apple Pie (48/50)-Fire Crystal, Pie Dough, Cinnamon, Maple Sugar, Faerie Apple, Lizard Egg/Bird Egg—Cinnamon is only sold from Regional Vendors or at a high premium from the Guild Shop. Eight levels will take a lot of supplies, so load up before starting this. Lizard Eggs are not sold by NPCs but aren't usually that expensive on the AH. NPC your pies right back to the Guild or to the nearest NPC as possible. Save one as the TEST ITEM (watch for them as Guild Point Items too).
- Yagudo Drink (60)-Dark Crystal, Yagudo Cherry, Buburimu Grapex3—Great profit synth, sort of. These sell quickly and the items are easily available from the Kolshushu Regional Vendor, but so many people make them that the profits are minimal and they don’t stack. But these are the best Refresh drink easily craftable. This is also the TEST ITEM but ONLY turn it in if you plan to take Cooking beyond 60.
- Stone Cheese (61)-Dark Crystal, Selbina Milk, Rock Salt—Perfect way to finish off your march to 60, if that’s where you plan to stop. If you get the crystals for 1k or less per stack (it does happen), this can be sold back to NPCs at a profit. If San D’Oria controls Zulkheim, everything you need is right in Southern San D’Oria.
 Post 60 Section
- Do I really need to point out that if you intend to take a craft past 60, you should be prepared to take it to 100?
- Raisin Bread (67)-Fire Crystal, San d'Orian Grapes, San d'Orian Flour, Distilled Water, Rock Salt, Maple Sugar, Selbina Butter-Also can NPC for a profit, barely, but more than likely, you'll be out most of the cost of the crystal. However, if Sandy controls Zulkheim (and Ronfaure but I've only seen it controlled by another nation once), you'll have everything that to make this by the ton. TEST ITEM as well, FYI.
- Colored Egg (68)-Fire Crystal, Bird Egg. Distilled Water, La Theine Cabbage, San d'Orian Carrot-Another power-crafting favorite. Ditto with Zulkheim controls but no chance of profit. However, you're over two-thirds of the way to 100 and should be out, at most, just the cost of crystals (and breaks). Ponder that for a second. Then ponder the fact that, travel aside, you can have done all of this without having to wait for stuff to sell at the Auction House, so you can have done this in a weekend, push-comes-to-shove.
- Dhalmel Pie (75)-Fire Crystal, Dhalmel Meat, Coral Fungus, Selbina Butter, San d'Orian Carrot, Pie Dough, Wild Onion, Rock Salt, Black Pepper--It's a large list of ingredients and any amount of crafting requires a large volume at this point, but these are profitable and some will sell, but not fast enough to really be worthwhile unless you are really taking your time.
- Navarin (77)-Fire Crystal, Olive Oil, Giant Sheep Meat, Rock Salt, Distilled Water, Black Pepper, Wild Onion, Mithran Tomato, Popoto--Almost listed under profit-only, but this is intended as a bridge-synth more than anything else. Also, I have a soft-spot for this food as a great low-level solo food if you aren't using Jack-o-Lanterns. That said, this does move somewhat fast and has less competition than Sushi and is typically cheaper to make.
Test Item: Whitefish Stew-Fire Crystal, San d'Orian Carrot, Selbina Milk, Bastore Bream, Black Pepper, Popoto, Wild Onion, Distilled Water, Rock Salt--Not that bad to get all the items but you could be running around to all 3 starting cities plus Jeuno, so consider just buying in a pinch.
- Goblin Drink (81)-Water Crystal, Elshimo Newt, Distilled Water, Frost Turnip, Watermelon, Wild Onion, Gysahl Greens, San d'Orian Carrot, La Theine Cabbage--Recipe reminds me of the old SNL Skit about the Bass-o-Matic, but used to pop a difficult NM for a Rare/Ex Item that has less than a 100% drop and is considered a must for some jobs. So these sell like hotcakes and very profitably, if you can get the Newts...
Cute Fluffy DogsCream Puffs (81)-Fire Crystal, San d'Orian Flour, Bird Egg, Vanilla, Maple Sugar, Distilled Water, Rock Salt, Selbina Butter, Uleguerand Milk--An Eight-Ingredient synth that requires Patissier Key Item (8k GP, Novice Rank), and pretty much the only reason people get that Key Item. The absolute best INT food, and one of two food that BLM should use (Melon Pie +1s are the other) when soloing. Vanilla is only from the Cooking Guild. If you have the Key Item, these are very profitable and sell incredibly well (the relatively high level means competitors can't easily HQ and undercut you) and none of the ingredients are that singularly expensive (there are a lot of them).
- Emperor Roe (82)-Lightning Crystal, Emperor Fish/Morinabaligi--For serious, hard-core fishers (70+), especially those leveling Cooking, this is the first part to a sacred trinity of synths. Catching a Fishing Skill 91 fish to get the basic ingredient is a good start, but each synth produces 4 Roe, so inventory can become an issue if you try for more than 1-2 levels of this.
- Sole Sushi (84)-Earth Crystal, Rice Vinegar, Ground Wasabi, Tarutaru Rice, Distilled Water, Black Sole/Dil--Be warned, fishermen, these suckers are hard to land, even with Lu Shang's, until you are in the mid 70s or higher. However, the fish are typically cheap on the AH and plentiful for lots of fishers catch them in Port Jeuno or Qufim Island. Competition is fierce on the sushi, so be warned.
- Marron Glace (86)-Dark Crystal, Maple Sugar, Chestnut x2, Grape Juice--I'm putting this here because it sells fast enough and it is dirt cheap to make. The only beef will be the grapes needed to make the juice, but this can be made there in large batches for cheap. You might consider over-night Bazaar to sell large batches.
- Rolanberry Pie (90)-Fire Crystal, Pie Dough, Rolanberry, Maple Sugar, Selbina Milk, Gelatin, Bird Egg, San d'Orian Flour--Lots of cheap ingredients, most available from NPCs (Gelatin is a Bonecraft recepie but commonly and easily made). At 3 synths per stack, this will require a lot of volume, though. Some people head to Selbina for over-night Bazaars. Whichever works but this does make a profit and sell quickly and higher level crafters don't make these for profit as much.
TEST ITEM: Seafood Stew: Fire Crystal, Black Pepper, Distilled Water, Gysahl Greens, Popoto, Rock Salt, Shall Shell/Istiridye, Nebimonite/Ahtapot, Gold Lobster/Istakoz: Buy this if if you can. Not many people fish up the Lobsters and fewer still fish them up to sell. This was your last test item...something to rejoice in!
- Persikos au Lait (91)-Water Crystal, Honey, Selbina Milk, Persikos x2-The fruit comes from Gardening alone but can be considered a failed attempt at Elemental Ores, so have friends and LS-mates on the watch, and watch the AH closely. The best Regen drink out there, so it sells incredibly fast, fast enough to make up for not stacking.
- Flint Caviar (92)-Dark Crystal, Emperor Roe, Rock Salt-Part 2 of the Emperor Fish Trilogy. Part 3 is a combination of Tavnazian Salad and Tonosama Rice Balls. But basically all you do here is use up your previous store of Emperor Roe made from Emperor Fish. This will triple (3 Caviar per synth) the space taken up by the Roe.
- Tavnazian Salad (92)-Wind Crystal, Apple Vinegar, Grimmonite, Frost Turnip, San d'Orian Carrot, Noble Lady, Bastore Bream, Flint Caviar, Beaugreens-Memorize this, as the salads make Tavnazian Tacos at level 84, and the best food for CHR or DEF in the game. Make these as supplies allow and turn them into Tacos to sell that way.
- Rice Dumpling (95)-Fire Crystal, Maple Sugar, Bamboo Stick, Coral Fungus, Dhalmel Meat, Sticky Rice, Rock Salt, Distilled Water-Requires Woodworking 15 as a sub-craft, and note that the rice is Sticky Rice and not Tarutaru Rice (Sticky Rice does not stack, so beware). These are the best Att/Acc combo food until Sushi, and even then, good afterwards as an Att food, so they are in high demand.
- Sweet Rice Cake (99)-Fire Crystal, Fresh Mugwort, Sticky Rice, Cinnamon, Maple Sugar, Gardenia Seed, Distilled Water-Dump-synth that's just too expensive to call a power-craft synth. Mugwort is a very rare harvest item from a couple of locations only, so people harvest it specifically for gil from crafters making these. The exotic rice and gardenia seed require going to exotic locations for Tenshodo vendors but are so rarely bought that they should be cheap. Just bring plenty of inventory space because neither stacks; when you need 100-200 each, that can add up.
- Red Curry (100)-Fire Crystal, Coriander, Curry Powder, San d'Orian Carrot, Mithran Tomato, Distilled Water, Kazham Peppers, Dragon Meat-This is the end, and man, what a hard ending because Dragon Meat is both expensive and hard to get. 6 NMs and 3 KSNMs drop this, and 5 of the NM are technically HNMs at that. If you have a full alliance worth of very bored level 75 jobs in a HNM set-up, you can camp the monsters. Otherwise, camp the AH like a hawk and beg favors/information from an HNM LS you know about.
- Cursed Soup (100)-Water Crystal, Royal Jelly, Honey, Persikos, Kitron, Distilled Water-The Royal Jelly is EX and typically farmed with some difficulty and/or time in Crawlers' Nest. A RL day with some 75 THFs helping you might net a few stacks. Oh, and the exotic fruit isn't that easy to get. But it's either this or camp the AH for Dragon Meat that costs 30k+ each...
 Guild Point Items
After some consideration, I'm adding a section on the various Guild Point items that you can purchase for Cooking. The item is followed by a (comment) with the minimum rank needed. If you are taking a craft to 100, sign up for Guild Points when you hit 28-30, because you will need them. Remember that (1) you can only sign up for one type of Guild Points at a time and (2) you lose ALL progress if you switch, so be 100% complete before moving on. Oh, and I'm not mentioning High Quality Crystals because they're a nice bonus but not something to worry about.
- Culinarian's Belt (Novice)--Don't get it. If you need the Advanced Support it offers, go to a Guild. 25 charges for 10k GP isn't worth it.
- Patissier (Novice)--You can cook certain Pastry items, and you have some extra options for other Dessert items that have superior HQs. This costs 8k Guild Points, which can be 3-4 good days worth of points, but really, the only new item that you'll be using this for is Cream Puffs, so its net worth is debatable.
- Noodle Kneading (Novice)--You can make Pastas, both Spaghetti and the final dishes, like Carbonara. These puppies are profitable, generally well-bought, and I recommend getting this key item.
- Raw Fish Handling (Novice)--Your first Key Item for Fishing because Sushi is the ultimate cooking item; highly sought by all Melees and increasingly other jobs. A great way to use fish you catch if you have Fishing. Between fast sales, decent profits, wide variety of skill levels, and generally easy-to-get ingredients, this is the best Key Item for all crafts, I think.
- Stewpot Mastery (Novice)--Meh, makes some soups that have Group Food Effects but the stats aren't that great, the recepies aren't that easy and no one buys them. Skip.
- Chef's Hat (Journeyman)--The first Skill+1 item for Cooking. This raises your effective Skill by 1. It operates like Synth Support while equipped and is 100% golden. Get it. It will help at all stages, especially in large jumps. This is the second thing you should be saving to get.
- Culinarian's Apron (Artisan)--The second Skill+1 item, the next thing to save for. Same applies down the line.
- Chef's Ring (Craftsman)--This is relatively new and offers an interesting trade. While equipped, you can no longer HQ, but you increase your chances of successfully synthing. There are some items that are base ingredients that you don't want to HQ on, such as Tavnazian Salads or Coeurl Sautees, but 80k GP isn't cheap.
- Cordon Bleu Set (Veteran)--The Skill+1 Furniture. Why wouldn't you want this? The Wind Element means you'll want dyed 6-Drawer Almirahs or Royal Bookshelves as furniture, until/unless you get the Signboard.
- Culinarian's Signboard (Veteran)--A newer Furniture, this, when combined with the other Veteran-level Furnishing, grants Moglification: Cooking, combining Skill+1 and reduces the chance of losing items on failed synths. Also, its stronger Aura permits (but not require) you to sell your Green 6-Drawer Almirahs for Green 9-Drawer Almirahs, saving you slots in your Mog Safe.
 Restocking Gil Section
Disclaimer: This section is for making gil only, not getting skill-ups. There are various reasons why, but most center around the need for HQs to make either ingredients (mostly Pasta dishes) or the final results. A few of the items neither stack nor sell fast enough to be good for more than 2-3 synths per week.
- Jack-o'-Lantern (37)-Fire Crystal, Beeswax, Ogre Pumpkin--A great item for profit that I constantly return to. The best Accuracy food before Sushi, the best Evasion food, and three hours to boot. They don’t stack and Beeswax will cost around 1k each, so they aren't good for skill-ups but they will make you gil.
- Marinara Pizza (40)-See Discussion Tab--Okay, relatively new item, very popular for Nyzul Isle and other events where Sushi would gives you too much Accuracy but you still want more Accuracy. It's a 3 hour food that also boosts Attack, which is best of both worlds. These sell profitably and sell very quickly, both NQ and HQ. The shopping list and that at least one base ingredient requires more than 40 to make, makes this for-profit and not for-skill.
- Fish Oil Broth (45)-Water Crystal, Bluetail x2--This is the preferred way to try for the HQ version of Fish Broth jugs. Non-HQ synths makes a full stack, which you can AH (they do okay if not profitably) or NPC. Beastmasters love these jugs because they are the cheapest jug that cap at level 75.
- Fish Mithkabob (49)-Fire Crystal, Shall Shell x2, Bluetail, Bastore Sardine, Nebimonite--A good use for Shall Shells or Bluetail caught for Fishing skill, or for making gil when have a shot at HQs. Competition in selling and/or prices of the fish can vary enough that risking breaks during skill-ups isn't worth it. However, server economies vary, so double-check on your server.
- Carbonara (56)-Fire Crystal, Black Pepper, Buffalo Jerky, Mhaura Garlic, Holy Basil, Selbina Milk, Stone Cheese, Spaghetti, Bird Egg--The Jerky can be problematic because the HQ version is worthless for this (but okay DD snack), and Buffalo Meat is always a bear to farm or get. But this is 1/2 of the reason to get Noodle Kneading and the profits are typically 2-3k for each NQ, and 10k+ for serious HQs
- Mushroom Stew (86)-Fire Crystal, Danceshroom, Coral Fungus, Selbina Butter, Puffball, Black Pepper, Popoto, Rock Salt, Distilled Water--Lots of ingredients and the three fungi can't be bought from NPCs and Pepper's touchy at times, so this is great when you can grab the supplies and a few for money, but the supply issue is more of why it's for profit than for skill-ups.
- Crimson Jelly (88)-Earth Crystal, Apple Mint, Maple Sugar, Clot Plasma, Gelatin, San d'Orian Grapes, Distilled Water--Doesn't sell fast, in fact, this is the slowest selling item in this guide, I think, but the profit margin is incredible, so it gets listed here on that basis alone. Apple Mint is CoP dependent and Clot Plasma is a rare drop from Clots on Manaclippers or Bibiki Island itself.