Mise en place refers to the organization system of choice in a professional club kitchen.
Mise en place, pronounced (mi zɑ̃ ˈplas) or (MEEZ ahn plahs), is a French culinary phrase meaning “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”
It refers to the organization of the recipe ingredients, equipment, and in some club kitchens, the organization of specific cooking areas that are required for the menu items to be deftly prepared during a shift.
Every pinch, tablespoon, cup or gallon of each recipe ingredient is carefully measured out, prepped to precision (from brunoise to baton, scooped to pounded thin, for example) put in its own container and placed next to the cooking element designated to cook that dish (burner, grill, oven, steam kettle, fryer, etc). Additionally, the proper equipment (in the correct sizes) and cooking utensils are at the ready for quick stirring, whisking, flipping or beating when needed.
The concept, a virtual Feng-Shuang element of a well-run club kitchen, is particularly crucial when cooking á la minute pan sauces, delicate sautées, masterful stir-frys, broiled finishes and demo cooking for members and guests. Not only is each recipe element premeasured but they are often lined up in relation to the order the ingredient is added to the recipe, helping novice cooks learn not only the recipe but the cooking technique and timing necessary to present the high-caliber culinary creations a club is well known for.
Pastry chefs, in particular, rely on this organization practice to ensure the precise measurement of ingredients and crucial timing of combining those ingredients in creating crave-worthy and spectacular sweet treats, many of which are finicky to produce.
Not only does mise en place organize recipe elements and streamline the execution of those recipes, mise en place is also an organization tool aiding chefs in maintaining kitchen inventory for raw and dry goods, as well as equipment needs.