i am fairly new to the culinary seen with only 3 years under my chef hat. i was working at a nice place before going to culinary school and i rememebr when i was trying to grasp what mise en place really means. i would be working at my station and i would be in the weeds and my chef would come over, push me aside and lay both his hands flat on the cutting bored and raise them and put his hands in my face. he would say "you see this? all this stuff on my hands? this is what your brain looks like. clean all this up and you will work faster and better".
i must say, he was very wise. to me, mise en place means having everything in its place. having my stock on when i need it, having things cooking, being organized, knowing what takes the longest to cook and what i can do while things are on the stove. the word multitasking comes to mind when i hear mise en place.
i had a chance to work with another cia student on my extern and he would gather all his pots and pans that he needed but it was funny becasue it created clutter and he would be flustered when he was cooking. i think mise en place also means not to get everything you need but knowing where everything you need is.
i had the chance to work the saute station the other evening for my first time at the hotel and i must say, i got my *** kicked. not becasue i couldnt get the orders out but becasue the lack of knowing what i will need for that station. i was constantly runing down the stairs to get something while i was doing my prep. i hate that.
there is my two cents o nwhat mise en place means to me.