I’m not a particularly patient person, which definitely presents some challenges in the kitchen. More often than not, skimming through a recipe results in some last minute substitution or frantic multitasking.
But as crazy as I might feel simultaneously shredding cabbage while caramelizing onions and toasting almonds, it’s nothing compared to the heat of a professional kitchen. Which is why I perked up when I came across Top Chef judge and accomplished chef Gail Simmons' reflections on her years of watching frazzled and fearless chef contestants in her latest book, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating. In Gail’s words, here’s the first thing you need to know for a successful dinner.
If there’s one mantra that all professional cooks life by, it’s the term mise-en-place. French for “put in place,” it refers to having your ingredients prepped and your tools and equipment ready before you begin cooking, so that when the literal and proverbial heat is on you can move fluidly through a recipe without missing an ingredient or a beat. In other words, be organized. At home, practice mise-en-place like this:
Mise-en-place is an important practice to employ for any dish, but especially those that come together quickly once the cooking is underway.
Text excerpted from Bringing It Home by Gail Simmons. Copyright © 2017. Published by Grand Central Life & Style. Reprinted with permission.