Chef is a crafting discipline in Guild Wars 2, and can be used to make food as well as dyes. Food offers temporary Combat Buffs, whereas dyes can be used to alter the color of your character’s clothing and armor.
Food requires a very diverse range of ingredients, so Chef is largely regarded as the craft that requires the most inventory space. It may be worth combining with Armorsmith, as the latter offers additional inventory space by crafting boxes.
Food is crafted by combining between 2 and 4 ingredients to create one of four end products; a snack, a meal, a soup or a dessert. Unlike in other crafts, the products are not tiered. There is nothing to say that meals are more beneficial overall then desserts, or soups more so than snacks, and no type requires a consistently higher skill level. Instead, within each category, there are easy and difficult Recipes, and their benefits are appropriately proportioned.
If you want to become a Chef, you can do so by talking to Bhia in The Grove. She will make you a Chef at the cost of 10 Bronze Coins for every level you have already acquired in the Chef Craft. There are other NPCs in each major city that teach cooking, so head to the trainers and you will find one there.
Let’s take some examples of the different Foods that you can cook. . A Loaf of Bread can be made by combining a Jug of Water, a Bag of Flour and a Packet of Yeast, and it has a skill requirement of 0. Eating the bread gives you +10 Vitality for the next 10 minutes. However, if we up the complexity a bit, we can have a stab at Banana Bread.
To make a Loaf of Banana Bread, combine an Egg, a Vanilla Bean, a Bowl of Baker’s Dry Ingredients and a Banana. If eaten, the Loaf of Banana Bread boasts a +15 Vitality boost for a whole 30 minutes, a clear improvement over the basic Loaf of Bread. Naturally, the Banana Bread requires a higher skill level, 75 in this case.
You may be wondering why none of the ingredients from the Loaf of Bread are present in the Loaf of Banana Bread, but they are; in the Bowl of Baker’s Dry Ingredients. This is where we run into the two types of Ingredients; Basic ingredients and Mixed Ingredients. Basic Ingredients, such as an Egg or a Bag of Flour, come fully prepared, but Mixed Ingredients are comprised of other Ingredients combined.
For example, the Bowl of Baker’s Dry Ingredients contains a Bag of Flour, a Packet of Baking Powder, a Packet of Salt and a Bag of Sugar. Here we see how the Flour and Yeast from the original Bread aren’t initially visible (the Yeast is substituted by Baking Powder).
Combined Ingredients are a space-saving device so that more complex Foods don’t have long and ungainly Recipes. They also have multiple uses, for example the Bowl of Baker’s Dry Ingredients also appears in the Recipes for Chocolate Cake, White Cake and Loaf of Sticky Walnut Bread. So you can see why learning Combined Ingredients is a good idea, as they form fundamental parts of more advanced Recipes.
Soups, Meals, Desserts and Snacks do not differ in any way in their method of preparation, and there is no set formula for each different type, so it is best to think of each possible Food as its own entity and only use the monikers of Meal, Dessert, Snack of Soup for categorization.
A more specific type of Mixed Ingredient is a Seasoning. These include things like Paprika, Salt and Pepper, which come in Piles, as well as Dressings such as Ascalonian Dressing. They function no differently from other Mixed Ingredients, it’s just a good idea to be aware that some places may list them separately from other Mixed Ingredients, in their own category.
Recipes can be obtained one of three ways. First, most basic recipes are automatically learned every 25 levels that you progress as a Chef. More advanced Rrecipes can be learned through trial and error in the Chef Discovery Pane by combining ingredients. Finally, some unique Recipes can only be learned through acquiring the relevant Recipe Sheet. An example of this is Kastaz Roasted Poultry, which can only be prepared once you’ve got its Recipe Sheet from Kastaz Strongpaw.
When using the Discovery Pane to discover Recipes, you will be shown Ingredients in your Inventory, Ingredients within your level range, and Ingredients that are part of an Undiscovered Recipe. Of course, you could always just look up the Recipes online and remove the good you could waste trying to work things out by trial and error.
Another notch in the Chef’s belt is the ability to make dyes, a highly coveted item and something that could easily fetch a fairly high price in the Trading Post. They were very valuable in the first Guild Wars, and it’s possible they will be again here. As an indicator, a Dye Pack consisting of 5 common and 2 uncommon Dyes costs 200 Gems in the Gem Store.
Dyes are formed by combining Ingredients also, usually fruits or other colorful things, for example a Gray Dye can be acquired by combining 50 Walnuts with 50 Black Beans. It is important to note that once a Player discovers a Dye, either by Crafting, Purchasing or Trading for it, they are able to use it an unlimited amount of times to customize their character.
In addition, different Dyes look different on Characters of other Races. This is because each Race has a specific color palette, so for example a Red Dye when applied to a Human’s Armor may not look the same as when applied to a Sylvari Character’s Armor, which in turn may be different from the way it appears on an Asura Character’s Armor.
So, even if the prospect of the Combat Buffs that the various Foods you can prepare isn’t enough to entice you into exploring the culinary arts in Guild Wars 2 by choosing the Chef Craft, the ability to craft your own Dyes should. Without a doubt, being a Chef is a viable career choice in Guild Wars 2, especially since cooked goods are used by all players but very few players actually select cooking professions, making for the perfect market if you want to sell crafted goods.