Okay, so looking at the changelog, one thing really bothers me.
Wasn't the whole point of having the quick eat key in the first place to make it worthwhile to use the Cook's food? I distinctly remember it being a thing that those items were inconvenient to use, and being able to pop them at the push of their own dedicated button like you can with buff and healing potions gave an incentive to actually buy them. Also, not all buffs are equal in use, so making them all the same duration seems...poorly thought out. Vanilla potions don't work like that, and for good reason. Not to mention making it where the Cook's food can't be used in combat when the buffs already didn't last as long as potions, and are now going to be even shorter for all but a couple of them? Both their unique buffs and Well Fed buffs were always shorter than Vanilla consumables to begin with, which felt justified by them doing multiple things at once. However, if you can't pop them when you need them, then those shorter durations beg the question of why you wouldn't just use a Vanilla potion instead, to get the buff for longer and not need to plan ahead on when you get it. Not to mention, not being able to eat in combat makes the healing aspect of the Cook's Food almost useless. Why not just remove the Cook entirely, at this point? It feels like it would be much better to leave these values alone, leave in the Quick Eat key, and either adjust the duration of the Full Stomach debuff, make it so that you can't drink potion on a full stomach and can't eat food while feeling potion sick (still separate debuffs so that Philosopher's Stone doesn't effect food, and opening up the possibility for a similar accessory for food, maybe with a combined accessory that does both), or both changing the duration of Full Stomach, and
making it so Full Stomach prevents drinking, and Potion Sickness prevents eating.
Another variable that could be tweaked is the amount of work needed to obtain the Cook's food. Suppose, for instance, that he didn't take gold for anything but the manual use foods. For any of the "advanced" foods that you unlock, you must pay the cook in the necessary ingredient. Mean n' Green Stew will always require having Green Mushrooms on-hand, Mana Delight can only be bought with Mana Berries, getting more Chai Tea means going on a hunt for Living Leaves, etc... In that way, the balance can't be as easily broken, because getting more isn't as simple as finding a way to farm gold. Any player, no matter how wealthy, must still gather the ingredients for the foods they want. Bacon and Grog being an exception since, first of all, turning in a recipe each time doesn't make sense, and secondly because Bacon is a Vanilla consumable, and Defender Medals make more sense for the Grog.