Get Your Mise En Place
One of the cardinal lessons chefs learn in their culinary training is the concept of mise en place. The French phrase—literally translated, “put in place,”—is the practice of getting out all of the ingredients and tools for a given recipe, measuring them, organizing them and being ready to cook, so that once you start you don’t have to stop and chop or measure. It’s how they make television cooking look so easy. Need to sauté half a cup of minced onion? No problem! Here it is, all ready in a cute little Pyrex dish that kitchen elves magically delivered!
If only it were that easy.
This orderly habit eliminates mistakes, helps to avoid last-minute trips to the store for the
spice you forgot to buy, and generally speaking, forces the cook to read the recipe thoroughly
and have a plan. The construct enhances the art and science of cooking and promotes much
better outcomes in the kitchen.
For me, “mise en place” takes on broader meaning. It is inseparable from my work as a magazine editor and content creator, where planning and preparation are 90% of the game. A succession of steps has to happen well in advance for a team of editors and designers to sail through production on time and within budget. Content must be researched, authors matched with topics, and ideas exchanged; contracts and formal assignments have to change hands. Authors do their part by turning in a good article and then, boom, boom, boom, just as in a five-star kitchen, every sous-chef at every station performs a specialty trade to get the content plated, passed down the line and perfected for the customer’s delight.
Mise en place is a beautiful and simple philosophy for much of life. Whether for our careers, in our family life or when planning a vacation—there is a certain amount of study and discipline of preparation and practice that must happen on the front end in order for the joy of the journey to unfurl smoothly and culminate in a satisfying result.
All of this said, what does your mise en place look like for enhancing your services or guiding your clients in 2017? Do you understand your recipe? What ingredients are missing? What skills and tools do you need to achieve the desired outcome? Do you need help “on the line” to serve up your vision?
In this, our fifth anniversary print edition of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips, we have provided four articles to inform your recipe plan for clients’ nutrition and behavior change in 2017. This year we take a deep dive into the progressive shift toward plant protein as a viable and healthy first choice in our diets. We look at how social media is influencing food culture. We examine a dozen of the most popular food tribes and ingredient trends. And we are delighted to present a scrumptious holiday recipe section by two amazingly talented chef-brothers who, until recently, steered the prepared foods culture at Whole Foods Market for many years. Read, learn and enjoy!
And here is one final suggestion for your 2017 educational mise en place. Plan for some live continuing education that could dramatically change your perspective on nutrition.
Save The Date: 2017 Idea World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit
For the first time in 2016, we planned a very special 1-day focus on nutrition, food and behavior change within the IDEA World Convention. It was so successful that we are expanding the event to 2 full days in 2017 (July 21–22 in Las Vegas) as part of our ongoing commitment to bring together fitness pros, nutrition pros, health coaches and physicians to discover the full spectrum of client “skillpower” enhancements surrounding these essential topics.
It will open your world to top-line researchers, weight management experts and behavior change specialists. It will give you a learning experience that is unheard of elsewhere and that you will crave to experience again. Stay tuned for details!
As ever, please be in touch with your thoughts and great ideas: [email protected] .
Have fun getting your mise en place!