It is helpful to know which ingredients are relatively plentiful when Action cards like Raid the Pantry, Fishing Expedition and the Marketplaces are played, so take advantage of the Ingredient Distribution cards when you are new to the game.
Ingredient cards also indicate how many of that particular ingredient are in the game. One-of-a-kind ingredients are in capital letters on their corresponding Dish card. The more plentiful an ingredient, the more dishes require it.
Play the Voluntary Marketplace card and don’t participate to pressure opponents: one of them either loses an Ingredient card or you gain one. In games with more than two players, this may backfire: if you opt out, your opponents can simply swap ingredients to prevent you getting a new one. Early in the game, if you have an unneeded common ingredient like eggs, it might be worth participating to see if anyone offers something useful to you in trade. The rules don’t prohibit you trying to broker a deal as you play this card: “I can put down eggs if someone will give me some sugar or chili pepper.”
Instant Bonus Dishes and dishes worth one point are relatively easy to make and can be used to secure common ingredients in your Cupboard, which become stepping stones toward making more complicated dishes later. Remember that you need the real ingredient, not a wild card, to claim an Instant Bonus Dish, so these ingredients are worth picking up from the Bin if you get a Dumpster Dive or Don’t Throw That Away! card: Chicken, Eggs, Flour, Milk/Cream, Mince, Onions, Sugar and Tomato Puree.
The Raid the Pantry Action card enables you to see which ingredients are in the Pantry pile, versus the ones held by opponents, so take advantage of the chance to look through it fully before you shuffle and replace it.
The Fishing Expedition and Don’t Throw That Away! cards can help you claim back ingredients lost via Spoilt Food and Marketplaces.
A good memory will serve you well. For example, if you see an opponent take an ingredient you need from the Rubbish Bin, when it’s your turn you can use a Fishing Expedition to get it from them if they haven’t cooked with it yet.
Other tips for success:
- Take an opponent’s Wild Card when you have the opportunity. If you’ve forgotten which ingredient it’s standing in for, you are allowed to ask.
- Keep checking your cards in case you can cook. Don’t forget that you can reuse any ingredients you’ve already locked in to your Cupboard.
- During a Dish Exchange, check your opponent’s Cupboard in case they’ve already got ingredients needed in the dish you want to pass.
- Consider the potential cuisine bonus a dish card might provide to yourself or an opponent.
- Check the bin before you Raid the Pantry or fish for an ingredient; the ingredient you want might be in there instead.
Why do the Dish cards have different colours?
Those colours indicate the cuisine to which the dish belongs. For example, Onion Rings and Macaroni & Cheese are American dishes, so their cards bear a cream-coloured strip on the left side. (In the original edition, the American colour was this sunny yellow, but we had feedback that it was too close to the yellow colour on Ingredient cards.) When counting up your point total, two dishes made from the same cuisine give you an extra point. If you can make a third dish from that cuisine, score two extra points. This cuisine bonus can win you the game, and might influence what dish to pass an opponent when a Dish Exchange card comes up. The cuisine bonus scoring rule is explained on page 3 of the directions. It does not apply in the two on two variation, where each team should be able to make many dishes together, nor do you receive any bonus points for making more than one Instant Bonus Dish, since each of them is from a different cuisine.
Why is one of the Wild Cards in with the Action cards?
Unlike the other two Wild Cards, which are in the Ingredient card pile, the green Action card Wild Card does not count as an ingredient, so it is invulnerable to loss via the Mandatory Marketplace or Ingredient Exchange cards. So, if you ever have the choice of using this Wild Card or one of the others, it is better strategy to keep this one in your hand.
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