a kitchen with a lot of cooks [Too many cooks spoil the broth/soup.]

ssh5346

Member
Korean
The following is a passage from an article by a supercar designer at McLaren.

In our studio we have a very small team. It’s similar to the concept of a kitchen with a lot of cooks; you get a spoiled soup. The more intense the atmosphere can be, the more interesting the products are going to be.

And this is how I understood it.

"We have a small number of people on our team at the studio because if there are too many people on the team, you get nowhere (chances are you'll get a bad result). With a smaller number of people on the team, the atmosphere is more intense, which leads to the creation of more interesting products."

Am I right abut the underlined parts? If not, exactly what does the passage mean?
Thank you for your help in advance.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    We have a saying "Too many cooks spoil the soup." It means that if too many people are involved, the results will be bad.

    So yes, your understanding is correct. :)

    Added: I see Hermione's version uses 'broth'. Perhaps this is a difference between AE, which I speak, and BE.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    From the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:*

    Idiom Too many cooks spoil the broth UK saying (US Too many cooks spoil the soup.)

    So it's official: There is a BE / AE difference.
    The writer of the topic sentence seems to have been familiar with the AE version.

    *This is a link to Google Books, so may not work for everyone. Unfortunately, I didn't find it in the online version.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Added: I see Hermione's version uses 'broth'. Perhaps this is a difference between AE, which I speak, and BE.
    I'm familiar with the broth version and I've only spent about 10 days in Britain in my entire 64+ years. I'm sure I never heard the proverb during my visits to Portsmouth, Salisbury, and London, so the broth version is also American. The soup version is actually unfamiliar to me.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    @Frank Smith: Well, sort of. Broth is a specific kind of soup: water with boiled food such as grain, meat and vegetables in it, creating a kind of stock with large chunks for texture. It is not just Scottish, it is made all over Europe, hence why we have 'Scotch Broth'.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    And I, like GWB, also agree with Fabulist. I've lived only in the US, and it's always been "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Not soup.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I grew up and learned my English in upstate New York, GWB is a New Yorker, and that Parla is currently (lifelong?) a New Yorker; perhaps the "broth" version is NE US and the "soup" version is found elsewhere in the US, in California at least (per Cagey).
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I have read the broth version, but I've only ever heard the soup version (lifetime Midwestern US resident that I am).

    Also, "broth" around here is what (I guess) others may call "stock;" a clear soup base made with beef or chicken, with absolutely no chunks of anything whatsoever. I would think it would take quite an effort to spoil that!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with Pob14's understanding of 'stock'. Though I know Scotch broth as a type of soup, in general to me 'broth' is different from soup. This is another AE/ BE difference. (Dare I say that?)

    For further discussion of this side issue, see: soup/ broth
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I grew up and learned my English in upstate New York, GWB is a New Yorker, and that Parla is currently (lifelong?) a New Yorker; perhaps the "broth" version is NE US and the "soup" version is found elsewhere in the US, in California at least (per Cagey).
    I've also lived in other eastern states, Fabulist; I guess, as you suggest, it's regional. Interesting.
     
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