Ayrlie cooking mule guide, Version 6, updated 01:15 01 July 2016
So you wanted to level cooking on a character but opted to level another craft on your main? Don't panic. In FFXI, extra content IDs are very cheap to the point almost every player has bought one or two of them to create extra character called mules. Mules serve various purposes, including but not limited to crafting, gardening, or storing equipment.
When you create this mule, you will need to choose Windurst as your home nation. You need this for two very good reasons: the cooking guild is located in Windurst, and the fish you may need is often found in Windurst. You will need mules in Bastok and San d'Oria as well, because there are other goods that can only be obtained there. Sometimes you will need to camp regional vendors and it is quite often that Windurst may not have control of a particular region. Make sure to cap your fame in Windurst as soon as possible, preferably by trading 200 or more Cornettes to the NPC in Windurst Walls. Your mules will also need capped fame in the cities that they are based in. By capping fame you will ensure that you get the cheapest price from regional and standard vendors. Fame does not affect prices from guild vendors, those prices are dependent on supply and demand. You must have the fame for the Mog House and Gobbiebag quests, because you must get them done as soon as you can. Several items and/or recipes have ingredients that do not stack.
You may want to consider at some point in leveling its black mage job to 20, but you do not have to. The main emphasis is for Warp, and as you get to level 99 cooking you might be forced to find someone to kill bees in Crawler's Nest for a rare drop called Royal Jelly that is Ex. Also, you will need to get your mule to Jeuno at some point to buy an airship pass. With the cost of stealth meds, it is much cheaper to spend 500k for the pass than try to get Rank 5 in a hurry.
You must research the prices before you skill up. Sites I go to include FFXIclopedia and FFXI AH.
Until the last few levels, cooking is one of the cheaper crafts to level to 100. As such, it is not uncommon to see people power leveling this craft.
1-3: Carrot Broth
Water Crystal + San d'Orian Carrot x4
Sell to the NPC. Camp the Ronfaure regional vendor for the ingredients.
3-10: Orange Juice
Water Crystal + Saruta Orange x 4
Sell to the NPC. Camp the Sarutabaruta regional vendor for the ingredients
Wind Crystal + Beehive Chips x 4
Farm all the bees for the chips, as it is a very common drop in certain areas. Save all honey.
12-19: Selbina Butter
Ice Crystal + Selbina Milk + Rock Salt
Do this in San d'Oria if San d'Oria has control of Zulkhiem Region. Save all butters.
20-22 Baked Popoto
Fire Crystal + Selbina Butter + Popoto
Use the Sarutabaruta regional vendor for the Popotos. Save these for future guild point days.
22-29 Insect Balls
Earth Crystal + Millioncorn + Little Worm + Distilled Water
Buy all the ingredients from the NPC vendors (San d'Oria or Whitegate, depending on conquest standings). Sell on the AH in San d'Oria or Windurst. This has an high turnover and you will make an profit.
Earth Crystal + Hare Meat + Distilled Water + San d'Oria Flour
Do this craft in San d'Oria. The flour doesn't stack, and you can get the hare meat from the rabbits in West Ronfaure. Sell on bazaar in Mharua.
35-42 Pie Dough
Water Crystal + San d'Oria Flour + Selbina Butter + Rock Salt
Save all dough for future crafts.
42-52 Crayfish Ball
Earth Crystal + 3 Crayfish + Distilled Water + San d'Oria Flour
The 10 level gap will require you to start with the guild support and lightsday for the best result. The Crayfish can be bought cheap from NPC vendor in Whitegate. Sell these in Sea Serpent Grotto, Nashmau, or Mhaura, these are used to fish up all the Nebonites. If the moogle kupower has "Ease of Exploration", you should get these 10 levels quickly.
52-60 Yagudo Drink
Dark Crystal + Yagudo Cherry + 3 Buburimu Grape
If Windurst has control of the Kolshushu region, this should be an easy 8 levels. Sell the Drinks on the Jeuno AH, as they will sell quickly.
60-65 Bison Steak
Fire Crystal + Buffalo Meat + Rock Salt + Bay Leaves + Olive Oil + Black Pepper + Rarab Tail
Other than the buffalo meat, all the ingredients can be obtained from the vendor. Bison Steak has fast turnover, is used for a quest, and sells at a large profit margin depending on server. The only drawback is that this item does not stack, so consider setting up bazaar in Port Jeuno when you AFK.
60-68 Colored Egg
Fire Crystal + San d'Orian Carrot + Bird Egg + La Thiene Cabbage + Distilled Water
All the ingredients sell from the NPC for cheap prices. Save these for the annual Easter event, or for future guild point days.
68-72 Pear Au Lait
Water Crystal + 2 Derfland Pear + Honey + Selbina Milk
Sell to the NPC vendor. Make sure someone has control of the Derfland Region prior to doing this item.
Fire Crystal + 4 Kukuru Bean + Selbina Milk + Distilled Water + Honey + Maple Sugar
Take use of the NPC in Kazham or the Elshimo Lowlands regional vendor. Although this caps at 79, I stopped at 76. Sell to the NPC.
76-82 Emperor Roe
Lightning Crystal + Emperor Fish
Fish up Emperor Fish in the glacier if you have an high fishing skill. Save all for a later synth.
82-90 Rolanberry Pie
Fire Crystal + Pie Dough + Rolanberry + Gelatin + Selbina Milk + San d'Orian Flour + Bird Egg + Maple Sugar
Save some for guild point days but sell the most on the AH.
90-92 Flint Caviar
Dark Crystal + Emperor Roe + Rock Salt
Save the caviar for the next part.
92-94 Tonosama Rice Ball
Fire Crystal + Flint Caviar + Pantam Kelp + Tarutaru Rice + Rock Salt + Distilled Water
If you can garden your own Rice, you're set. Sell on Jeuno AH.
90-97 Dawn Mulsum
Ice Crystal + Holy Water + Grape Juice + White Honey
This item sells at a large profit depending on how you get the Holy Water and White Honey. It is used by Beastmasters and has a fast turnover rate. Sadly, this item does not stack and should be set in a bazaar.
97-99 Sweet Rice Cake
Fire Crystal + Fresh Mugwort + Maple Sugar + Gardenia + Sticky Rice + Cinnamon + Distilled Water
This is a major money loser, and to add insult to injury, 2 of the ingredients do not stack. You can save some gil by harvesting Giddeus for the Fresh Mugwort ahead of time. Sweet Rice Cakes only sell on the AH for 2k gil per stack, so save them for guild point use.
97-101 Red Curry
Fire Crystal + Dragon Meat + Curry Powder + Coriander + San d'Oria Carrot + Distilled Water + Kazham Peppers
Another gil sink although not as bad as Sweet Rice Cake. This item breaks even on most servers, with the best sell rates on the weekends. However, this item does not stack and does not have a high turnover rate. It is recommended to convert them into Red Curry Buns.
97-103 Mosquito Broth
Dark Crystal + Loam + Petrified Log + Distilled Water + Silkweed Secretion
The hardest part is the last thing, dropped off level 117 mobs but only go 30K a stack on the AH. Loam are very common drop from Caveberries. Everything else is AH or vendor for very cheap prices. NQ only go 70K a stack on the AH but the HQ sells 400K a jug.
99-105 Date Tea
Water Crystal + Date + Imperial Tea Leaves + Distilled Water + Maple Sugar
103-110 Smoldering Salisbury Steak
Fire Crystal + Cerebus Meat + Sage + Rock Salt + White Bread + Wild Onion + Bird Egg + Buffalo Meat
This does not seem as bad as it sounds - the worst part is getting the Cerebus Meat (60k a pop) but this one pops up on the AH faster than the Date. This does take 8 items and does not stack. Fortunately if you either farm or buy from the NPC the remaining items, you should break even if you sell on weekends. However you will see at least 5 levels with this item, and there are no other alternatives to it.