To cook like a pro, start with proper preparation

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To cook like a pro, start with proper preparation

Mise en place techniques are essential, chefs say
Mise en place, or “to put in place” is a French culinary technique both pro chefs and home cooks can use to be more organized and mindful in the kitchen. The ingredients for a vegetarian dragon bowl, when prepared beforehand, make the cooking process much more streamlined.
Chef Michel Poumay, working in his small crêpe cart, knows the value of being prepared for cooking and maximizing space.
Chef Michel Poumay preps fresh ingredients each afternoon after closing, and everything he needs to prepare his full menu is within arm’s reach of where he stands at the griddle.
A properly organized cold prep line. In Poumay’s extremely limited space, mise en place techniques are essential.
Many of the fresh herbs and garnishes used in Michel Poumay’s recipes are grown right in front of his crepe cart.

To cook like a pro, start with proper preparation

Mise en place, or “to put in place” is a French culinary technique both pro chefs and home cooks can use to be more organized and mindful in the kitchen. The ingredients for a vegetarian dragon bowl, when prepared beforehand, make the cooking process much more streamlined.
Chef Michel Poumay, working in his small crêpe cart, knows the value of being prepared for cooking and maximizing space.
Chef Michel Poumay preps fresh ingredients each afternoon after closing, and everything he needs to prepare his full menu is within arm’s reach of where he stands at the griddle.
A properly organized cold prep line. In Poumay’s extremely limited space, mise en place techniques are essential.
Many of the fresh herbs and garnishes used in Michel Poumay’s recipes are grown right in front of his crepe cart.
Expert tips for a more mindful mealtime

Julia Child was known for her meticulous kitchen organization, with labeled ceramic crocks for all her tools and a pegboard displaying her copper pots and pans. The board had each item’s form drawn in outline – there never was a question about where things belonged in Child’s Cambridge, Mass., kitchen.
Mise en place, a French culinary term, means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.” It means being mindful and meticulous about every step of the cooking process, and organizing your work spaces for efficiency.
It’s a principle most trained chefs learn in their early days of culinary school and a practice put to use in most professional kitchens. Miss en place techniques can also serve the home cook – who couldn’t use a little more organization and a little less chaos in their kitchen? Here are some basics:
Organize your workspace Arrange your work area for efficiency. Organize your fridge, pantry and cupboards so items are visible and accessible. Everything should have a place. Store knives and cutting boards in a cupboard near the area where you stand to do prep work, not across the room. Pots and pans should live near the stove, bakeware should be housed together and seldom-used items can live in the pantry or a less-accessible cupboard.
Prepare methodically When beginning prep work for a dish, organize tools according to when you will use them. Set out ingredients in the order in which they go into the pan or plate. Wash, cut, chop and slice all ingredients as called for in the recipe. Measure out all liquids. It results in additional dishes to wash, but it alleviates the issue of trying to cut meat or finish prep work for a dish while part of it is already cooking.
Clean as you goBetween cooking steps, wipe surfaces and wash whatever dishes have accumulated in the sink. “One of the things that stuck with me that a chef told me is, ‘Whatever you’re doing, it should always look like you’re doing nothing at all.’ You don’t have stuff strewn out over the counter; you’re working on one thing at a time,” said Sean Clark, executive chef of Steamworks Brewing Co. and El Moro Spirits and Tavern.

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