is a wonderful craft
that allows you to turn fish and meat, fruits and vegetables, and herbs and spices into amazing culinary delights. The benefits of a master chef's dishes can provide the edge in battle, so many adventurers spend as much time in an apron as they do in chainmail. Of course, there are also those who simply enjoy cooking for the delicious results.
So, what is a typical day in the life of a veteran chef?
We asked Miss D, an accomplished cook, for the details.
- --Good day to you, Miss D.
- Would you mind telling us your current skill in cooking?
"Right now I'm at 98. I hope to reach 100 one day, but you can't rush the final course, if you know what I mean. I also have alchemy at 60 (I do love mixing things), and woodworking and fishing at 50. The rest of my craft skills are 30 or less."
- --Why did you decide to take up the ladle?
"Well, I really wanted to try my hand at synthesis, but I didn't have a lot of money. Since recipes like pebble soup aren't hugely expensive to make, I suppose I naturally wandered into the profession. I also thought the idea of making food for myself and my friends was kind of neat."
- --Pebble soup, huh? And I suppose you need to be a great adventurer to survive all those dangerous ingredient-gathering expeditions?
"Actually I'm a level 75 warrior and thief, and I have 6 other jobs from around level 40 to 60. I generally gather ingredients as a thief with white mage as a support job."
- --Most impressive. Do you think that mastering the art of cooking requires a high level in adventuring?
"You can do well with a relatively low level, I think. There are many ingredients that can be bought at the store, and anything else usually finds its way on to one of the auction houses."
- --Are there any skills that complement cooking?
"There are several recipes that require some skill in alchemy and woodworking, but mostly, you can get by with only cooking skills. Although I would recommend raising woodworking until you can make maple sugar. You go through bags of that stuff!
"I would also suggest investing some time in fishing. It can really cut down some of your material costs."
- --Do you have a hard time collecting ingredients?
"The specialty stores tied to each region can move from week to week depending on the controlling nation. It can be a little annoying to track them down after getting used to a certain location.
"Certain recipes can still make you money even after buying all the ingredients on auction, but I prefer to gather everything myself to save on costs. Although I can catch my own fish, I have a fisherman friend with whom I often place orders in return for free meals.
"I also receive a lot of deliveries of meat and mushrooms from adventuring companions who I repay with various dishes."
- --So, which dishes make you the most dough?
"It really depends on current trends. The most recent favorites are sushi dishes, Tavnazian tacos, Yagudo drink, melon pies, and yellow curry, to name a few.
"For easy gil, I try to auction foods that are in short supply, or are needed for quests. I also often get requests from people who bring me the ingredients for their preferred meals. It seems that supply never keeps up with demand."
- --Would you say you've made money over the course of your cooking career?
"To tell the truth, I never expected to make much of a profit, but cooking does provide a steady income. Being a consumable product, the turnover for food is surprisingly fast.
"There were some recipes that left me in the red, but I ended up eating those dishes myself."
- --What's the most memorable dish you've ever created?
"That would have to be stamina soup--the high quality version of turtle soup. I made it completely by accident when trying to make something unusual for a friend. It didn't show up anywhere in the auction house records, so I had the honor of being the first name to appear under that category."
- --Are there any meals in particular that you'd like to try making?
"Hmm, I wish there were some recipes for Far Eastern noodle dishes. And I would love to be able to grow ground wasabi in my Mog House. That stuff is expensive!"
- --Any last comments?
"Cooking is an absolutely indispensable skill! You won't believe how useful it is on your adventures.
"Even for those who have chosen to master a different skill, I suggest raising your cooking to at least Journeyman level. You'll never go hungry again!"
- --Thank you for your time.
Well, folks, there you have it--a chef who enjoys eating as much as she enjoys cooking. This interview was held in the Culinarians' Guild, a place where aspiring chefs applaud each other for their stamina soups, and encourage each other to try again after those ruined soufflés.
"It's always friendly in here. The act of cooking just seems to create an amiable atmosphere."
Thanks to Miss D, today I was able to have my cake and eat it too.