Your objective would be to keep the cooked food's temperature out of the danger zone. Between the temperatures of 40F-140F food acts as a perfect place for bacteria to grow and multiply.
Whether you keep it above 140 F of chill it to below 40 F is up to you. If you keep it warm (over 140F) for 1-3 hours, you run the risk of it's drying out.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan