Monday, February 25, 2013

Culinary 101: Mise-en-place

Julip Made Culinary 101 Mise en Place3 If I learned anything from the culinary classes I took in college it was the importance of the mise-en-place, which translated from French means "everything in its place".  Mise-en-place is the practice of chefs preparing and organizing their workstation and all of the ingredients to the point where they are ready to be used in the dish during cooking and serving it.  The main reason for this planning, to expedite preparation the dish and ensure that no steps are left out. This is also the perfect topic for the first post in a new series cooking basics series I'm starting because it is the first thing you should be doing in the kitchen.  In this new culinary 101 series, I'll be sharing some of the tips and tricks I learned from my classes, my father (the master chef), and my own years in the kitchen.
Julip Made Culinary 101 Mise en Place2
  • To start, read the recipe.  
  • Now read the recipe again.  This time, noting all necessary tools, ingredients, and any components that need to be or can be prepared in advance.   For more complicated dishes or for large meals such as Thanksgiving, I like to make a prep and cook schedule.  I note when I can prepare certain components such as making and freezing dough ahead of time.  I also note when which dishes should be cooked and oven times for those dishes.
  • Next, prep your workstation.  This means getting all the tools you will need to prep your ingredients, laying out your cutting board, and placing your prep bowls that will hold the prepared ingredients on your workstation.
  • Measure out all ingredients and place in prep bowls.
  • Make any necessary preparations to ingredients such as washing and chopping produce, marinating meat, caramelizing onions, heating up stock, sifting flour, etc...
  • Prepare all equipment such as assembling/ plugging in food processors, pre-heating the oven, etc..
  • Read through your recipe/ prep and cooking schedule and get started!
Julip Made Culinary 101 Mise en Place4 Several other additional small tips to make the process easier:
  • If you don't have a non-skid cutting board, wet a dish towel and lay it out under your cutting board to prevent dangerous slips. 
  • Place items that brown when they are exposed to air as a result of oxidization in water (potatoes) or lemon juice (apples).
  • Place ingredients that have similar cook times together such as onions, carrots, and celery or garlic and herbs).
  • Organize ingredients in the order that you will be using them. 
  • CAYGO, CAYGO, CAYGO.  Clean As You GO.  This will keep you sane, speed up the clean up process, and by keeping your work area clean, you will have an easier time finding the items you have so carefully prepared ahead of time.
Julip Made Culinary 101 Mise en Place1

I'm excited to share this new series with you and am open to any requests or suggestions for topics.  Bon appetit!


  1. you would think i would be good at this right? you'd be wrong. i definitely need to step up my mise en place game. hardcore.

  2. I am usually a hot mess in the kitchen because I don't do this. I also don't clean as I go. A culinary 101 post on cleaning would probably benefit me!

  3. You're so organized! I have to admit that I'm a much more haphazardous chef and I never clean until the end, it drives my mom nuts!

  4. I think I'm going to love this series!


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