Cooking is a unique endeavor that forms the core of our cultural identity. Culinary systems across the world have evolved over a period of time in the backdrop of complex interplay of diverse sociocultural factors including geographic, climatic and genetic influences. Data-driven investigations can offer interesting insights into the structural and organizational principles of cuisines. Herein, we use a comprehensive repertoire of 158544 recipes from 25 geo-cultural regions across the world to investigate the statistical patterns in the usage of ingredients and their categories. Further, we develop computational models for the evolution of cuisines. Our analysis reveals copy-mutation as a plausible mechanism of culinary evolution. As the world copes with the challenges of diet-linked disorders, knowledge of the key determinants of culinary evolution can drive the creation of novel recipe generation algorithms aimed at dietary interventions for better nutrition and health.