Love it or hate it; cooking in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is very nearly an absolute necessity to survive. Unless, of course, you’re stacked up to your eyeballs with elixirs that you’ve acquired from one of the many NPC’s in the game. Bill Trinen from Nintendo has very recently posted an insight to the Nintendo Treehouse blog in which he explains more about the cooking in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and how Eiji Aonuma expressed his interest for cooking mechanics way before development:
Back in 2004, Eiji Aonuma gave a presentation called “The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda” (You can hear it here). Today it serves as an interesting look into the series’ transition at a point in time just before the Legend of Zelda™: Twilight Princess game for the Wii was first announced. I interpreted for him for both the presentation as well as a number of interviews he did afterwards, and one of the themes he mentioned in both the interviews and the presentations was cooking. He talked about making a Zelda game as being similar to cooking stew: both are long processes, both require the combination of multiple different ingredients and seasonings, and when cooked together those ingredients combine to complete the overall flavor, which is enhanced. And he noted then that he was interested in making a game about cooking.
The very first time I played through the Great Plateau, I came across apples and mushrooms fairly early on in my wanderings. Of course, I collected them (I do love mushrooms!), and to a certain degree it seemed fairly straightforward that they would serve as food. But soon I was collecting acorns, herbs, raw meat, and spicy peppers, and when I found the old man at his cabin and started combining ingredients, I remembered Aonuma-san’s presentation and realized he finally achieved his goal of making a game about cooking.
You can read the rest of the post here.