If you've been browsing wow forums and blogs for a while, even if you're nowhere near level 80, I'm sure you've heard much-a-doo about "Raid Food".
What is "Raid Food"?
It's food eaten by high level characters (level 70 and up) that provides more than just replenishing health. It takes 10 full seconds to be applied. The Fish Feast above is one of the more popular raid foods because it provides stamina (health), mana, attack power and spell power, which are usable for pretty much every player class and talent out there. It's high level, because you need to be a level 70 or higher to eat it. But clearly, it's a pretty awesome munchie, and the buff is it's own class ("well fed") and can exist in addition to spell buffs, blessings, potions scrolls and other effects.
Feasts are foods that feed more than one person: they usually feed an entire group or party.
But I'll let you in on a very poorly kept, but rarely acted upon, tidbit of info: "raid food" exists for all levels of players.
Take the food item below; Beer Basted Boar Ribs.
If you have taken up cooking, it's probably likely that you never bothered to make it, or if you did, did you notice that it provides a buff to stamina and spirit, as well as the normal health return? One other thing to note is that many "buff foods" require 2 separate ingredients to make, or require single, annoying to get, ingredients.
A full list of Buff foods is HERE, on wowwiki.com. It lists the foods, as well as the buffs you get from each, as well as the level needed to eat them.
So, not only can cooking help you out when you get to higher levels, but there are some clear benefits to "cooking well" and "eating well" as you level.