“Mise en place” is French for “get your shit together.”



This is what a typical dinner prep looks like in my kitchen. Everything is chopped, minced, unjarred, de-canned.

It’s called mise en place [french for get your shit together].

I do this because I like to be relaxed and happy [moderately drunk] in the kitchen.

But this isn’t how most cooks do things. 

And it isn’t how recipes are written. 

Anytime a recipe says “while this is cooking, do that” I laugh.

Mostly because I suffer from not being able to take even the simplest situations seriously.

But also because “do this while that cooks” means I will:

  1. pour wine
  2. start chatting with whomever is around [my dog]
  3. wine
  4. burn something
  5. iwne [sic]
  6. forget to cut whatever I was supposed to cut because I’m on my third glass of wine.

Note, this is the ONLY area in my life where I’m prepared [just ask my wife/family/anyone]. 

But I’m a HUGE advocate for mise en place for several reasons.

“What are those reasons, oh Wise One?” you might ask.

And thank you for asking.

Number 1: Having everything chopped and prepped means that I can put away my knife and cutting board. I can clean up. Which means I’m less likely to knock over my glass of wine. Or the bottle [which may or may not have happened several times in the past year].

My kitchen is pretty damn clean when I cook. All prep bowls go straight into the dishwasher. Counters are wiped down. Knives are washed, dried, and put away [unless I’m feeling stabby].

This also means that, with all my ingredients measured and prepped, I can put my entire focus on cooking [wine]. It’s a lot harder to burn something when you’re watching it closely instead of multitasking.

It’s hard to be a good host when you get lightheaded every time you knick your finger [ask me how I know], so mise en place helps me better enjoy the company of my company [wine].

Take it from me, an oft-unprepared lifelong last-minute-Larry, that a little prep goes a LONG way toward upping your kitchen game.

Try it. Just once. And let me know how it goes in the comments below.↓↓↓


You may like my food photographs because you like saying fancy French phrases [alliteration!].