Too Many Chefs is a four player social deduction card game. Players take the role of good chefs, who are trying to cook a delicious meal, or evil chefs, who are trying to sabotage the recipe. An additional fifth player can play the health inspector, who is a neutral player.
1. Determine Roles
Take the four role cards with 'Evil Chef' or 'Good Chef' on them. Shuffle them and deal one to each player. Each player observes and remembers the role on their card.
Take the five ingredients from the starter menu (vegetables, worm, sauce, chili, trash).
Shuffle the five ingredients and deal one to each chef, leaving one ingredient to the side face-down. Each chef must look at their own ingredient, but never show it to another chef.
Each chef must decide what to do with their ingredient. This is done in a free-form manner, with no turns or play order. If a chef decides they want to add their ingredient to the meal, they say "in!" and push their card (face-down) towards the middle of the table, taking care not to mix it with another chef's card. If they change their mind, they may say "out!" and pull their card back. Chefs may react to the actions of others and change their mind as much as they want. They may also discuss what they have with the other chefs, though there is no requirement for them to be truthful.
Play continues until all chefs stop moving their ingredients, at which point the meal is served. Note that a chef may passionately disagree with the meal, but their only recourse is to add or remove their ingredient. The meal should not be delayed due to strong feelings in the kitchen.
3. Serve The Meal
Take all the 'in' ingredients and shuffle them under the table. Then, reveal them face-up. These cards represent the meal you have created. Find the total value of the meal, noting that the chili, herbs and trash cards can affect other cards. If the meal has a positive score, then it is extremely delicious and the good chefs win the game. If it has a negative score, then it is unthinkably disgusting, and the evil chefs win. If it has a score of zero, or it has no score, or no cards, then it is a stalemate.
If there is a stalemate, another meal must be prepared. If this is the second stalemate caused by the trash card, remove the trash card from the ingredients, and add the herbs card. Flip all ingredients face-down, and add all other unplayed ingredients without revealing them (including the one put aside). You now have five ingredients, and should continue play from the 'cooking' section above.
If playing with the health inspector, add the health inspector role card to the role deck at the start. Whoever is dealt the health inspector card should immediately declare it and show the card as proof. The health inspector does not get dealt any cards, nor interact with any. After each meal is shuffled, but before it is revealed, the health inspector gets one chance to guess exactly which cards are in the meal. The health inspector's goal is to get this exactly correct at least once before the chefs create a game-winning meal. If the health inspector guesses correctly, they personally win, and the chefs continue as in a regular game.
If two chefs get locked into an in-out reaction vortex, start a one-minute timer. If they do still do not agree when the time is up, shuffle both their cards together and add one to the meal and discard the other face-down.