Unlike the calculating Baker, the Cook is not afraid to embrace the chaos of a kitchen. Wielding both fire and steel, the cook harnesses the elements to cull new and intense flavors from common ingredients. The role of the cook is not one to be taken lightly, it requires fortitude and a bold spirit of exploration. The more experienced eschew classic recipe in favor of creativity and inspiration, relying on their skills with the various implements to chart a course through the unknown. But before starting your next adventure, make sure you have the appropriate questing gear and items!
The Cook’s Pantry
Butter – One of the most basic of all ingredients and the foundation for the class
Eggs– As valuable as it is versatile. Make sure to always have a fresh dozen on hand.
Olive oil–Available in many varieties, generally Spanish, Italian or Greek. Use more expensive richer flavored bottles for fresh applications, rather than ones that involve cooking.
Garlic – an ingredient suitable for almost any dish, or for warding off vampires.
Peppers – They come in many different colors, flavors, and pack different levels of punch, much like elixirs of dragonsbreath. Similar to those elixirs, all good adventurers know not to leave camp without some.
Onions – It takes a stout warrior to stand up to the stinging effects of the onion. Chill them before you slice to reduce the tears.
Stock –Quite nearly “primordial” broths perfect for soups, sauces and flavoring. Buy lower sodium varieties to control the amount of salt in a dish, though homemade is preferable.
Potatoes – The most versatile vegetable in the kitchen, with nearly endless permutations and uses.
Ground beef – Anything more lean than 90/10 (fat ratio) will become really dry when cooked. Combine leaner and fattier combinations to find the right balance.
Chicken breast – Does everything taste like chicken or does chicken taste like everything? Either way, no refrigerator is complete without it.
Bacon– While adventuring, the first thing any traveler worth his salt should pack is bacon. When cooking, always make it crisp. The world has little use for limp bacon.
Pepper – Black pepper adds depth to any dish. Pepper mills are nice for table service, but for use in recipes have ground pepper on hand. It tends to be finer and allows for easier measurement.
Garlic Powder – Best used when you want to add garlic flavor to a sauce or dish, but don’t want guests finding pieces of garlic. Perfect for rubs and vinaigrettes.
Salt – The most villified ingredient other than high fructose corn syrup and anything with the word “hydrogenated” (transfat!) in it. Essential for bringing out the best flavors in other food.
(Note: all dried spices other than salt, are indeed perishable. As time passes they lose their potency. For best results, replace them every six months. Salt will last indefinitely.)
These simple ingredients are the foundation of all cooking. Without these cornerstones, you have little hope of every making anything that resembles the epic designs of this craft.