Prepare to Cook before You Start Cooking (Mise En Place).


Prepare to Cook
before You Start Cooking


Mise En Place ("to put in place") is a French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine, up to the point of cooking.

The concept is: A cook should have at hand everything he or she needs to prepare and serve food in an organized and efficient manner.

Selecting Tools and Equipment:

  • All tools, equipment and work surfaces must be clean.
  • Knives should be sharpened.
  • Ovens and cooking surfaces should be preheated.
  • Measuring devices should be checked for accuracy.
  • Mixing bowls, saucepans, and storage containers should be the correct size.
  • Foods should be stored at the proper temperatures.
  • Serving plates, cookware, utensils, and hand tools should be nearby.
  • Expiration dates should be checked.
  • Sanitizing solution, gloves, trash receptacles, and hand towels should be nearby.

Preparing Ingredients:

Some ingredients that are used frequently are often prepared in large quantities.

Toasting Nuts and Spices:

Nuts are often toasted lightly before being used. Whole spices are sometimes toasted before being ground for a sauce or used as a garnish. Toasting brings out its flavor and makes it crispier. Toasting nuts or spices, carefully to avoid burning.

Making Bread Crumbs:

To make bread crumbs, the bread is torn into pieces and ground in a food processor. After processing, the crumbs should be passed through a sieve and stored in a tightly closed storage container.

Bouquet Garni and Sachet:

*A bouquet garni and sachet are used to introduce favorings, seasonings, and aromatics into sauces, soups, stews, and stocks.

*A bouquet garni is herbs and vegetables tied into a bundle. A standard bouquet garni consists of celery, leeks, carrots, thyme, and parsley.

*A sachet is a cheesecloth filled with seasonings and tied together. A standard sachet consists of bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, cloves, parsley stems, and garlic.


*Marinating is the soaking of meat or poultry in a seasoned liquid to tenderize and flavor it.

*Marinades can be a simple blend of seasonings, herbs, and oil.

*Marinades can be a complicated blend of fruit, red wine, and other ingredients.

*Mild marinades should be used on meats such as veal.

*Strong marinades should be used on game and beef. White wine marinades are usually used for white meats and poultry, and red wine marinades are used for red meats.

*When marinating, be sure to cover the item completely and keep it refrigerated.

Rubs and Pastes:

Additional flavors can be added by rubbing meats with fresh or dried herbs and spices.


Steeping is the process of soaking dry ingredients in a liquid to soften the food or to infuse its flavor into the liquid. Coffee beans, spices, and nuts are usually steeped in hot milk to extract their flavors.

Making an Ice Bath:

Because of the risk of food-borne illness, it is important to cool hot foods quickly before refrigerating them. An ice bath is an easy way to do this. 

An ice bath is simply a container of ice cubes and cold water. The item will cool faster if it is in a metal container, rather than one made of glass or plastic.

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