So my suggestion is improve a bit cooking and make low-tier recipes still viable.
In my opinion you can make same systeam as in arcana. I mean for make food a tier higher you need put low rank food.
I’ll give you an example. At starting cooking we have 1000 points of luck for any gathering profession. And then i suggest add on 1400 point of luck food from 1000 points. Also can do it with any low tier food into mid and mid into high tier.
Its make low/mid-tier food still viable.
This is a image of how much each Ingrideant is used total in tier 5 recipies which are actually used commonly. If you would have to start at tier 1 foods and work your way up to tier 5 foods, the prices would sky rocket of the mats you need. Imma take a pass but thx.
EDIT: If you want ill expand this list and you will see what I mean.