Mise-en-place and Mindset

Thomas Keller
Ad Hoc at Home

On mise-en-place …

Be organized in your mind too. Think ahead, and think one step at a time. Take sixty seconds to write down a list of the tasks you need to accomplish so that you don’t waste time trying to remember what you were going to do next. As you’re finishing one task, think about what your next step will be. When preparing a meal, try to set yourself up from beginning to end so that the food that takes the longest is done when the shorter-cooking items are ready. I visualize each step of the way, almost as if I were taking a picture of it in my mind: how much oil should be in the pan as I sauté, how it ought to look, how my cutting board should look, how much liquid should be in the pot when I’m cooking potatoes, what the simmer looks like — anything, everything. Try to visualize what you expect to see as you move through a recipe. Then if what you see differs from that expectation, try to understand why and adjust if possible.

Being organized is the first and most important part of cooking.

And so for day 2683

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