Gaming as an industry has developed a habit of thinking that more in any respect is better. The focus on a lot of games is the size of the map, the number of characters, the number of hours you can get out of it and other such numerical, quantifiable elements.
Thus, a lot of features in games simply exist... because they can, filed under the umbrella term of "immersion".
You aren't forced to play the entirety of the game, so feel free to pass by the cooking mini-games, but sometimes valuable development time is poured into creating features and mechanics that have literally no meaningful function.
Even today when games are more expensive than ever, these mechanics keep cropping up, with no one contesting their inclusion despite not having any impact at all.
Ranging from busywork to time wasters that don't have any bearing on the story or core progression, I'm not talking about mini-games as they tend to have some enjoyment factor within a game, but instead the mechanics that have less functionality than even the most throwaway minigames.