Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”Larousse Gastronomique
My first jobs were working in the restaurant and hospitality industry. I started first with making subs to selling kettle corn at the local zoo. After having fun with the simple tasks I felt drawn towards learning more advanced skills and I wanted to be given a chance to be able to make intricate items which were precise and specially crafted. I set my sights towards South Florida and started my first year of college. While studying in aviation and learning about the science behind how an aircraft is able to have controlled powered flight I transitioned through various restaurants throughout the area. Starting off in a local burger joint, moving towards a bar that was open for 23 hours out of the day as it served as the first stop before the American Airlines Arena.
The bar scene as much as it was entertaining, it was draining and the environment was quite toxic with negative influences all around. One day as I am talking with my brother of the uncomfortable behaviors that occur at my work place and how I would greatly enjoy working for a new location a man who was walking past us towards another restaurant stops and interrupts our conversations. He tells me of the new restaurant opening up soon and how he thinks I would be a great candidate to work there being I was not happy in my current job.
I make the transition over the the new kitchen and find out very quickly that the standard was set high. With the restaurant operating like a french styled kitchen the workload was high and dispersed through the chefs. I joined the preparatory team and was responsible for preparing select items before we open doors for service.
During training the first topic we cover is the word “Mise En Place” which translates best to “Put in Place”. This would be the first word written in the instructions to every recipe. The concept is quite simple. Prior to beginging your work day you must prepare and organize all the items, instruments and equipment needed to complete the days tasks. The reason behind this so then once you begin to work you can continue uninterrupted and save time and energy by not having to retrace your steps. This concept was ingrained in our subconscious minds and we quickly learned to organize and prepare every element and variable required to complete the tasks effectively. This skill has transferred into my own life beyond the kitchen. I see the concept of Mise en Place to be applicable in all aspects of ones life.
For the simple example, the night before a long day, I could prepare and lay out the clothes I am going to wear. I can prepare my coffee maker to then just have to hit start in the morning. Little tasks like preparing your work briefcase or having the dog leases ready by the door so then your morning can run smoother and more efficient. If I am planning on going to the gym at 8 in the morning that means I am going to be laying out the items the night before and not at 6:30 am when I have just woken up and am still half asleep preparing my pre-workout. Preparing your area for yourself to then being able to operate more efficiently can feel like a waste of time to some and it is important to weigh out the over all impact that working around inefficient space can have.
Being prepared is what creates successful outcomes. Covering as many loose ends as possible to minimize frustration and adversity maintains a positive frame of mind. When operating at a stronger mind state we are able to then achieve more goals. List out the essential items and tools required to complete a tasks and ensure you have them all prior to beginning the tasks. Most importantly in part of setting up the also required putting back in the designated location. This ensured that when needed again, the item can be easily located and retrieved. It serves as a two sided agreement that you make to organize and prepare all accessory elements to best perform the main task effectively.
Being prepared will raise your confidence and will reduce the chance of you putting off the task. If lets say you plan on working out in the morning as part of a new routine. Most often we wait till after we wake up to start preparing the gym bag, getting the meals prepared, remembering that we need to get gas in the car to drive to the gym or maybe we are debating if we should ride the bike there instead. When we push off the act of deciding to last minute we create a sense of havoc when it comes time to perform. This creates a bad experience resulting in us not wanting to waste the time and effort to get ready for the gym in the morning.
Being prepared goes to the extent of having the small details ready prior to needing them.When you practice extreme pro-activeness and implement the concepts of putting in place the accessory elements for use you eliminate obstacles and create a clear path towards your achievement.