What is Mise en Place?

Don’t you just hate forgetting an ingredient in the middle of cooking something that requires a quick pace?  It’s like returning a 99 yard punt with out the football…It’s driving an hour and a half in traffic to get to work only to discover you forgot your laptop… I think you get the point, ITS ANNOYING!  One of the most important tools I learned throughout my professional restaurant career was organization!  Us culinarians have a term for this and believe it or not the French gave it to us and it’s called, “Mise en Place”.  This term literally translates to “everything in it’s place.”  Preparing the proper ingredients and amounts is essential for success when creating a dish, after all like my old chef used to say, “plan to fail or fail to plan.”  It will only take you once or twice of failing to prepare all of the ingredients to realize that you never want to do it again…

Organization is obviously important no matter what business you work in and it is vital to be fully prepped while working in a restaurant.  I know, I know most of you do not work in a professional kitchen manner, however I am aware that most of you have forgotten an ingredient while cooking a recipe at least one time, I know I have..  I want to be clear here that nothing I say will make you more organized, it is really a way of life and practice, like anything, it’s the only way to get better at it.  The first thing I do to ensure I have everything is to count out little bowls or ramekins so that I know every bowl must have something in it before my recipe is complete.  I can tell you first hand that in the middle of cooking something, I have completely forgotten an ingredient at the grocery store.  SHOPPING LISTS are SO important when preparing a recipe.. Do you think I just run to Lowes before I create a video and I magically think of a recipe while in the store.  Heck no!  I need a list of every thing I must purchase before I go shopping, and I even keep that list nearby while cooking to double check that I have everything.  Like I said before, I can’t change you to be more organized, it is a desire, but if you do decide to “Mise en Place” your recipe, I can promise that cooking will be more enjoyable, less stressful and easier.

 

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