It basically depends on what you want to make. For grinding purposes, go up Desserts first to get to Pastebread and Kiwik Swirl. Cooking skills are essential in providing a high-quality product, since that gives you a better assembly skill (improving your success types on the initial combination) and higher experimentation skill (giving better successes during experimentation and more points to spend).
With the revamp, there are many more useful foods, instead of just the old Angerian Fishak, Bivoli Tempari, Ryshcate, Breath of Heaven, and Correlian Fried Ice cream (all Master or 4th level schematics). Many foods are either unique in their effects (such as the Entr�es I food Blood Chowder, with Bleed resist) or have something that makes it preferable to higher-level foods, even if the size of the buff is less. For example, Synthsteak gives you damage reduction, but with a lower percentage than Flameout (a Master Chef drink). Also, Synthsteak has a lower filling and reduces damage from more hits, possibly making it more desirable to someone who may not need Flameout's 90-100% damage reduction.