Raid the Pantry: Strategic Tips
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.