Mise en Place

Day one, lesson one in the culinary world is the concept of preparation and layout. Literally “putting in place”, this implies the organizing and arranging of the ingredients and other components that a cook will require for the proposed menu. Recipes are reviewed, equipment assembled and trialed, ovens preheated, all in a carefully orchestrated manner to avoid any problems, thereby assuring timely completion. Premeditated, intentional, deliberate and calculated. Who would have thought these lessons a valuable tool for any profession? Conscious, studied processes are the key to great business acumen. Preparation and shrewd judgment almost always beats luck.

The final preparation today was killer. I witnessed the creation of consommé! I know, sounds exciting, but this clarified broth is hallowed ground in gastronomic circles. Elegant in its simplicity, it can challenge even the most advanced chefs. Another real world application: don’t let apparent simple details derail the entire production.

Any way, enough learning for one day. Oh, by the way, if you have lately become somewhat confused with our blog, let me explain. Our dear Reba, newly minted fashion adventurer, continues as our reporter abroad, bringing a contemporary spin on Parisian life. My husband and I, currently in California, will bring you the occasional tidbit when time and travel allow (nothing like an almost 9 month old to while away any free time). Each of us, doing our thing, eveything in its proper place.

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