The majority of the site seems to be dominated by 'how to cook' questions. I don't think this is a bad thing, but should the site also cover other food realted questions such as food history, eating out (what does it mean when it says xxx on a menu), ethnic food etc. I know I would be happier with a more diverse site that occiasionally surprised and delighted me with unusual information about food history etc. but maybe there is a preference for a tightly controlled site specifically for 'how to cook' type questions.
I disagree, for the following reasons:
It splinters the target demographic. There are several non-cooking subjects that intersect with cooking, such as presentation and wine pairing (which I've grouped under the serving heading and many people seem to agree "belong" here). But subjects like food history and eating out are "foodie" subjects that I don't think speak to the same audience, or even an expert audience at all. If you disagree, please provide a counterexample.
The topics are way, way off from the original definition. While I see nothing wrong with debating the merits of issues which were sort of left hanging in the definition phase, topics like how to read a restaurant menu were not what we signed up for. I know I don't speak for everyone here - believe me, that's been made abundantly clear - but to me, allowing such topics is a slap in the face for all of us who poured our efforts into getting the site off the ground.
Diversity is not the goal of Stack Exchange sites. There are always users who want a wider scope, but our goal is community-building which means often doing exactly the opposite of what certain individuals ask. The wider (i.e. more "diverse") the scope, the harder it is to build a community around it.
An analogy: Let's say you've managed to put together a group of people to play soccer. What do you think will happen if you turn around and tell these people that, actually, every other week we'd rather just watch soccer on TV? I'm sure you'll get a few people who enjoy both activities and a few more who are willing to make the occasional sacrifice, but most of the group is going to go "WTF" and quite literally take their balls and go home.
This site is about making food and some of the topics surrounding it (equipment, safety, storage, etc.). It's not about eating food or exchanging food trivia. If you want a Stack Exchange site about those things, you should start your own proposal on Area 51.
I think these topics should be welcome—the site title does say "Food and Cooking". If only cooking-related questions are allowed, why even have the word "food" in the title?
Moreover, since the core target audience is professional chefs, questions about the history of food and menu wording are just as relevant—if not more so—to them as it would be to amateur food enthusiasts. Professional chefs need to be experts not just in preparing food, but in knowing about the history of their dishes and how to describe them on menus. Inventive new restaurant dishes are often created by taking a classic dish and reinterpreting it in an innovative way while still respecting something essential about it origins. I easily imagine chefs' finding information about food origins on this site being a compelling feature that brings them back.
After a few minutes' reflection, I think a good yardstick should be that if the topic would be on the curriculum of a cooking school or culinary institute, it should be fair game for this site.