Mise en Place is a Concept You will Need
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Though it is originally a commercial concept, at Smart Kitchen, we focus on Mise en Place because it is probably the single biggest difference between superstars and the sub-par. Without it, we don’t believe you will be able to easily prepare our increasingly complex meals together as we progress.

Mise en Place can seem like overkill, and you are likely doing just fine without it right now.  But we know that Mise en Place, can simplify your cooking life, encouraging you to think about your methods and organize your tools and ingredients accordingly before any cooking begins. We want to teach you, so you can excel.

 Experienced cooks can successfully prep their next ingredients while the first are cooking, but that’s not a route we suggest for beginners. First of all, experienced chefs generally work much faster, so they are ready when it’s time for the next step. Also, with experience comes an ability to quickly assess how your food is cooking and whether it needs attention. Without that experience, it is easy to get overwhelmed and “in the weeds” as we say in the kitchen, especially in the beginning.

 A less experienced cook should be much more attentive to each process, whether it is applying heat, using a knife, etc., in order to safeguard themselves and the dish. Being able to focus on the job at hand also allows you the concentration to learn and perfect your technique.

 If you still are doubtful, think of the “mental work” before the “physical work” of cooking as buying yourself some extra time, or as an insurance policy against chaos. If you prep and lay out all the required ingredients in the order called for—before lighting the burners—you actually lighten your load when it is time to cook. Lightening the load frees up mental attention and in turn simplifies your cooking experience so you can focus on the job at hand, the 3rd Lever of Cooking™: managing the cooking process. 

Take another example: thoroughly organizing a workstation, determining all the necessary tools and equipment, and what is used first and/or most frequently, is also considered part of Mise en Place. If you have prepped in advance you are not scrambling for the forgotten half-cup of rough-chopped onions. If you have laid out your workspace in advance, you aren’t washing a knife or spatula when you should be turning down the heat on your burner. No one can do all of it at once. Organizing, the 1st Lever of Cooking™, with Mise en Place means you don’t have to.

Culinary Uses

Smart Kitchen teaches Mise en Place in Lesson 3: Food Prep Basics, Topic 6: Organization, Exercise 2: Mise en Place.