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Whole30 and mise-en-place


jump4life

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I recently heard a great radio piece on how a chef often applies the idea of mise-en-place not only to organize their kitchen and work station, but also as a way of life.   

 

http://www.npr.org/tags/338877059/mise-en-place

 

Beyond the obvious need for organized food prep (!) mise-en-place and Whole30 have lifestyle philosophies in common.  Some of my favorite quotes from the piece:   

 

 

"Mise-en-place-  it really is a way of life... its a way of concentrating your mind to focus on the aspects you need to be working on at that moment.. to rid yourself of distractions."  

 

"The central tenant of mise-en-place.... working clean"

 

 

These could be easily be rephrased for Whole30:   

 

"Whole 30- it really is a way of life... its a way of concentrating your mind (and body) to focus on the aspects you need to be working on at that moment .... to rid yourself of distractions."

 

"The central tenant of Whole30..... living clean"   

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I'm not familiar with living clean but a moderator could clarify philosophies.

 

"But the key to mise-en-place is not so much the list, but the mindset. Cooks can easily do six hours of prep for a three-hour dinner shift. Mise-en-place forces cooks to account for every minute of their time and, says chef Dwayne Lipuma, every movement.

"Every component of one single dish is in one single corner so their hand literally moves inches," explains Lipuma, an instructor at the CIA. "Once [students] set up their station I should be able to blindfold them and tell them ... and they should know that their tongs are always here, their oil is always right here, their salt and pepper is always right here. "

That way, chefs are always ready to go, Lipuma says. "They always have one foot pivoted just like a basketball player."

At Esca, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan's theater district, sous-chef Greg Barr describes what is perhaps the central tenet of mise-en-place: working clean.

"It's like a very ... Zen-like thing," he says. "All my knives are clean. Clean cutting board. Clear space to work. Clear mind."

 

Sound like good time management for a chef.  I'll work on it.

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I worked in a restaurant as a pastry assistant for 6 months and it taught me many things. 

One of them was working clean. 

My boss said, even when you're deeply in the weeds, with orders backed up, tickets out the door, the FIRST thing you need to assess is "is my station clean" and if its not, clean it up, THEN proceed and you'll be way more productive. 

 

Very sound advice, in all areas of life. 

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