Next to First aid, Cooking tends to get ignored unless your a raider, or in the gold making business. Most players who decide to level their cooking will level one, maybe two of their toons to maximum and then the rest end up getting ignored.
With the introduction of Mists of Pandaria this idea may have to change. Especially if you have a gold goblin heart like mine. MOP is introducing specialization into the mix. There is limited information but all the comments from the developer posts point to at least 5 different specializations. Any time specialization is mentioned, or limited recipes. The goblin should look at how to get to those recipes the fastest.
Ultimately one toon will be able to specialize in everything (possibly even an achievement). But that will take a dedicated amount of time. But now is the time to plan ahead to grab those recipes and be one of the first on the market.
We have approximately 2 to 3 months til the introduction of MOP. That gives at least 40-50 days to level up cooking. Most players by now have leveled multiple toons up to 85. So now is a good time to firm up your cooking (and even fishing) skills to make sure your ready to finish the new cooking dailies in MOP. Even if you don't level that toon immediately, Cataclysm opened up the ability for a lower level player to gain cooking points through the dailies. Having your alternate toons begin to level cooking through the daily cooking quests in Orgrimmar and Stormwind will place you in the drivers seat to be able to continue on. Using the dailies (and the Darkmoon Faire cooking quests) will give you the cooking points, without the need to use items you are saving for MOP (many of the foods will still be in demand come MOP for leveling cooking on new players).
If you haven't done the Darkmoon Faire cooking quests. Just pick up 5 [simple flour] from one of the cooking vendors in your home city, then go to 52,6.68 on your mini map at the Darkmoon Faire. Batter the frogs, throw them into the pot and you have your 5 easy earned cooking points.
The goal is to end up being around the 510 mark for cooking before Mists arrive. Being at max cooking (525) will open up more opportunities and should be very easily finished.
Here is some of the base information from the betas on the cooking. More can be added or subtracted
as we continue to get closer.
(courtesy of MMO-Champion)
Recipes on Beta Servers
Recipe: Great Pandaren Banquet - Well Fed: +275 in a useful stat.
Recipe: Pandaren Banquet - Well Fed: +275 in a useful stat.
Recipe: Black Pepper Steak - Well Fed: +300 Strength.
Recipe: Sea Mist Rice Noodles - Well Fed: +300 Agility.
Recipe: Mogu Fish Stew - Well Fed: +300 Intellect.
Recipe: Steamed Meat Buns - Well Fed: +300 Spirit.
Recipe: Chun Tian Spring Rolls - Well Fed: +450 Stamina.
Recipe: Eternal Blossom Fish - Well Fed: +275 Strength.
Recipe: Hozu Stir Fry - Well Fed: +275 Agility.
Recipe: Braised Wolf - Well Fed: +275 Intellect.
Recipe: Fire Spirit Hot Pot - Well Fed: +275 Spirit.
Recipe: Twin Fish Platter - Well Fed: +415 Stamina.
Recipe: Charbroiled Tiger Steak - Well Fed: +250 Strength.
Recipe: Jade Forest Fried Rice - Well Fed: +250 Agility.
Recipe: Swirling Mist Soup - Well Fed: +250 Intellect.
Recipe: Shrimp Dumplings - Well Fed: +250 Spirit.
Recipe: Forest Pheasant Roast - Well Fed: +375 Stamina.
Recipe: Pandaren Meat Ball - Restores 100000 health over 10 sec.
Recipe: Fish Cake - Restores 100000 health and 100000 mana over 10 sec.
Known Food Drops
100 Year Soy Sauce
Aged Pink Turnip
Forest Boar Meat
Raw Tiger Steak
Tough Wolf Flank
Red Blossom Leek
The object of this is to allow each of your 5 maximum leveled cooking toons to follow one of the other paths to give you access to all the recipes as soon as possible. Later on once you have learned one line of cooking, you can start to pick up another and begin to retire your other cooks.
Access to recipes as quickly as possible will become important to obtain sales to raiders and players
as they run through dungeons and heroics. Adding more gold into your goblin hearted pockets.
Good Luck and Good Hunting