Mise En Place

So you can cook? How does that apply to daily life? Well the fact of the matter is that a lot of the skills we develop in the Kitchen are easily transferable. By far the most important is the concept of Mise En Place.

It’s Kitchen French for “Have your shit together!” and it means to plan ahead so that you’re ready when things get nasty. It doesn’t matter if you drive a tow truck or work in an office, if you have your Mise, things run a whole lot smoother.

It’s being able to anticipate what’s about to happen and staying three steps ahead.

You can’t eliminate the possibility of shit hitting the fan, it can and will and always at the worst possible time. What you can do is minimize the risk. Now, there’s a line between being prepared and being paranoid and you need to keep that in mind. In other words, don’t over prep. You only sell 5 pounds of rice a night so there’s no need to cook 20 just because you had a tour bus a few weeks prior.

Your Mise depends on you and what you tend to do on a daily basis but for me, it comes down to doing my prep list and keeping my gear semi organized in my bag. Things like a phone charger, an extra lighter and a spare $20 can save your ass.

It also means being proactive and dealing with situations while they’re small and manageable instead of letting them build. Know the guy next to you is going to need a spatula? Grab it. Know you’re going to need bus fare? Have it ready before you get there so you don’t have to pull out your wallet.

Just like your own Kitchen, you have to figure out what works for you. This isn’t a hard rule, it’s a concept, a philosophy that you can adapt to your needs.

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