Know that you've already done a lot. You've leveled your cooking to 525. You've learned how the Ways work and perhaps you've chosen a Way already. It's now time to gather the ingredients until you master those Ways.
Learn one, learn all
Each Way follows a similar pattern of recipes.
The introduction dish offers 250 of a primary stat, 375 stamina (Oven), or 100k health and mana (Brew). It requires one ingredient and grants one skill point per dish. It's orange from learning until 550 Way skill.
The second dish at 550 skill is a little bit better than the first, offering 275 stat or 415 Stamina. It grants two skill points per dish made and requires two ingredients of a possible three types: 1 of a fish, 1 of a meat, or 5 of a vegetable. The combination can vary from a fish and a meat to two different vegetables to two of the same fish. It's orange until 575 Way skill.
At 575, both size feasts are available. The plain Banquet feeds 10 people; the Great Banquet feeds 25 people. Each Banquet (except Brew) requires 10 of a fish, 10 of a meat, 50 of a vegetable, and 100 Year Soy Sauce. Nobody brews with meat or fish, so Banquet of the Brew requires 100 each of two vegetables.
The Great Banquet requires twice the ingredients of the plain Banquet (except the soy sauce), but grants 8 skill points per batch made instead of the Banquet's 5. It's still more ingredient-efficient to level using plain Banquets, but just barely. Banquets of either type are orange until 600.
The feasts provide a useful stat to whoever eats them, not just the primary stat of that particular Way. Each has a different visual display when you set one down. Finally, you cook 5 feasts per batch of ingredients in your profession pane. So you gather four times the ingredients for a full stack of feasts.
At 600, the best stat food is available, granting 300 of a primary stat, 450 Stamina, or restoring 300k health and 150k mana. Half the Ways require Black Pepper as the special ingredient, and the other half require Rice Flour. The best foods follow a similar ingredient pattern as the banquets: to make a stack of 5, you need 5 of a fish, 5 of a meat, 25 of a vegetable, and a special ingredient. Brew again uses just 50 of a vegetable and a special ingredient.
What to gather
Stocking up on every ingredient you find is fine for the A-cook-alypse that is leveling all six Ways simultaneously, but you only need 7-9 different items for each stat-based Way and 5 items for Way of the Brew.
I've included how many of each you'll need to level the Way completely up to 600, and I've listed the ingredients for the supreme food at 600 skill. I'm assuming you'll level using the cheaper 10-person Banquets, so your count may vary if you throw in some Great Banquets. You'll need five 100 Year Soy Sauce for each Way you level, coming to a total of 30 for all six Ways.
The vegetables look like they require absurd amounts, but if you use your farm to grow the vegetables, you get 5-8 from a single plot. A fully-expanded farmful of one vegetable will likely net you enough to cook a batch of Great Banquets. You can also buy sacks of ingredients from Nam Ironpaw for one token per sack, or you can combine your alts' farms together.
Edit: The ingredients on the end of each line are for the final 600-skill food. The number of ingredients depends on how much you would like, so originally I didn't include a number. Since people have asked for clarification, I've now included the multiplier for a batch of food. E.g., one batch of 5 Mogu Fish Stew will need 25 Mogu Pumpkins, 5 Emperor Salmon, and 5 Raw Crocolisk Belly.
Way of the Wok (agility):
- Veggies: Juicycrunch Carrots (50), Red Blossom Leek (250), Scallions (x25)
- Fish: Reef Octopus (13), Giant Mantis Shrimp (50), Tiger Gourami (x5)
- Meat: Wildfowl Breast (13), Raw Crocolisk Belly (50), Raw Turtle Meat (x5)
- Veggies: Juicycrunch Carrots (315), Mogu Pumpkin (x25)
- Fish: Jade Lungfish (25), Reef Octopus (50), Emperor Salmon (x5)
- Meat: Raw Turtle Meat (13), Mushan Ribs (50), Raw Crocolisk Belly (x5)
- Veggies: Scallions (65), Jade Squash (250), White Turnip (x25)
- Fish: Giant Mantis Shrimp (25), Emperor Salmon (63), Jewel Danio (x5)
- Meat: Wildfowl Breast (50), Raw Crab Meat (x5)
- Veggies: Striped Melon (65), White Turnip (250), Green Cabbage (x25)
- Fish: Jade Lungfish (13), Redbelly Mandarin (50), Giant Mantis Shrimp (x5)
- Meat: Raw Tiger Steak (25), Raw Crab Meat (50), Mushan Ribs (x5)
- Veggies: Mogu Pumpkins (250), Red Blossom Leek (x25)
- Fish: Krasarang Paddlefish (76), Redbelly Mandarin (x5)
- Meat: Wildfowl Breast (25), Raw Turtle Meat (50), Raw Tiger Steak (x5)
- Veggies: Ginseng (buy 25), Witchberries (315), Jade Squash (65), Green Cabbage (250), Pink Turnip (x50)
- Nobody brews meat or fish, c'mon now.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!