Ever wonder how your favorite restaurant is able to crank out so many dishes in so little time, with so little staff, night after night? A large part of this production can be attributed to mise en place.
Mise en place is a French phrase that translates to “everything in place.” In a professional kitchen, mise en place is paramount – and it should be in every home kitchen as well. Mise en place helps with efficiency and organization to ensure that whatever you’re making comes out correctly and on time.
So, what exactly is mise en place? It is a very simple practice that refers to the organization and arrangement of all ingredients needed to execute a particular dish.
In simple terms, think of quick service restaurants – Subway is one that comes to mind. When you go in to order your sub, the “sandwich artist” is not chopping and slicing the meat, cheese and vegetables for your sandwich. Everything is already set-up to make the sandwich.
Mise en place works in the same manner. Before starting any recipe, restaurant chefs have everything in place to complete that recipe. That means everything is chopped, measured and ready to be added to the dish. In larger establishments prep cooks handle this work during the day before the evening service.
For example, in culinary school, the first thing we did at the start of every class was pre-heat the oven. After that, we prepped everything for the recipe, which we had read prior to the start of class. Next, we gathered all of the necessary ingredients. After that, we sliced, diced and measured all of the individual ingredients and put them in individual containers. Finally, we began the actual cooking process. Approaching a recipe this way not only ensures that you have everything you need, but also speeds things up.
So, the next time you are hosting a party or even just preparing dinner for your family on a weeknight, keep mise en place in mind; it will do wonders for the preparation and execution of whatever you’re making.
Still confused and need help applying the method of mise en place to your cooking? Contact Fit Chef Chicago and we’ll explain further!