If you are interested in cooking and watch a lot of food shows on television, you've probably heard the term "mise en place" used frequently. But do you know what mise en place actually means?
Mise en place is French for "everything in place". It is used in cooking to refer to the practice of having all ingredients required for a recipe or meal arranged, chopped and measured out in advance of beginning to cook anything. Mise en place is used by professional chefs and restaurant kitchens to ensure efficiency and consistency in the preparation of meals, and is in fact one of the practices first taught to new students in culinary schools. Many suggest that mise en place is equally useful to the home chef, although not all agree that such careful preparation is necessary or efficient in the preparation of most home-cooked meals.
That said, there are times when mise en place can be extremely useful no matter whether you are cooking for one or cooking for an entire restaurant: when preparing a stir-fry, for example, as ingredients need to be added very rapidly and in a particular sequence to the wok. In baking it can be useful as well, when careful measurement of ingredients are required and you don't want to accidentally forget or realize you have run out of a crucial ingredient.
On this page I'll talk a little bit more about mise en place, share some educational links and videos, and also recommend kitchen bowls, dishes and other utensils which can be useful in following mise en place practices in your home kitchen.