Learning from Masterchef


If you’ve been watching Masterchef, you’ll notice a re-occuring theme… organisation.  It’s often spoken about – and here’s why.  Cooking takes good organisation.  Have you heard the expression Mise en place (pronounced “meez ong plaars”)?  In means everything in place, and ready for service.

It basically means to have all your prep work done; chopping, slicing, sauces made, ingredients washed and ready to go and of course, all your tools and utensils and crockery etc at hand so you can focus on cooking without delay or distraction.

This concept translates to all areas of life… is your CV up to date if you need to look for a new job?  Are your receipts ready to go for claiming on your tax?  Is your car serviced and well maintained for the next road trip?  What about your kids toys: are they culled and organised as the next birthday approaches?

Having Mise en Place means life is easier… what have you already got in place, or what do you need to get on top of?  What’s the one thing you always have Mise en Place?  For me, it’s my keys, purse and sunnies always having the same home just inside my front door.  What about you?

4 responses to “Learning from Masterchef

  1. Hi Lissanne! I have been following Mastercef & do identify with the Mise en place. In a past life I worked in a busy kitchen doing exactly this! My fondest memory of preparing for service is my onion peeling prowess. Every Friday afternoon @ 4pm the head chef would dump a 20kg bag of brown onions on my bench. I had to peel, top and tail then halve every one by 5pm. After a while I was so used to it that I wouldn’t cry anymore. I would normally do this after shucking maybe 6 dozen oysters and washing every single thing in the kitchen to Gordan Ramsey approved standards!

    Another preperation story I like is about my favorite band the RAMONES. BEFORE they took the stage (every night of their career) they would play their entire set through twice, unplugged, in the dressing room. A usual set for them is 40 – 50 songs! Bless their boney fingers.

  2. Mark – your onion prep story is great, love it! Can you imagine having to peel 20kgs as you went through service? Mental. Stressful too! Very happy for Mise en Place.

    But even more, I am blown away with the Ramones story – that’s incredible Mise en Place.. no wonder they rocked. Practice and prep makes perfect!

  3. Lissane – We made arrangements for some of our students (in the GO System train-the-trainer certification program) to go through a Viking Culinary Arts School class and learn about the value of Mise en Place when preparing a meal. Getting everything in place before beginning to cook made a tremendous positive difference. And, as you point out, the lessons of Mise en Palce translate well into other areas of your life. It is a simple idea than can make a huge difference.

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