Anthony Bourdain said "Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks...As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system".
Stress down - Quality up
Preparation and menu planning is key, especially when you are understaffed, which is more common than not. But how can you avoid too much stress and make sure quality is up? The answer is mise en place. Here are some cooking tips on making sure your place in the kitchen is set for service.
- Plan and organise - Make sure you have all kitchen tools and ingredients ready and prepared before start cooking. This might sound logic but it's always good to remind yourself: All liquids premeasured? Everything defrosted? Meat is marinated and prepared?
- Prepare for your peak - Plan ahead as much as possible to save yourself later. Review the menu choice trends from you customers and the key times they appear in your restaurant on a weekly basis.
- Read your recipes - Sounds simple but knowing your menu and all your ingredients will save you time, and keep you ahead when it comes to the heat of service.
- Counter is clean, always clean - We know it's already been drilled into you, but your counter can look the same form start of service, to finish of service. Keep a vessel within tossing distance for all your rubbish.
- Consider ready-made ingredients - They will save you time both in preparation as well as not having to correct mistakes. Good quality ready-made ingredients, especially if responsible for creating hundreds of the same dishes a day, when used well can provide consistency and quality.
Being prepared and having your station and mind set in place for service, means less stress for you and a better experience for your customers. Make sure everything is in place - it will save you time and speed up service.
Mise en place checklist
- Ovens are turned on
- Work stations are set up
- Complete preparation list is ready
- All needed ingredients are gathered and stored properly
- All ingredients are pre-measured and prepared
- All tools and equipments are gathered and in place
- You are prepared for work
- Before mixing, all amounts are double-checked
- If needed, use timers
- Finished products are labelled and stored for further processing