This week was the mise en place practical, and what a learning experience. The idea was to have a set of recipes, completed and plated in a timed exercise. Time management was key, but also proper technique. Quite the balancing act. I learned a bit more than I bargained for that reached outside the kitchen walls.
Setting up my station, keeping food safety in mind, prepared my ingridients, completing my assigned task, wasn’t all I was accomplishing this last week or two. What I learned is to be a chef, the kitchen has to be a “no baggage” zone.
What I mean by that is while making small dice cuts, you should be focused on small dice cuts. The light bill or your math class homework can wait a moment or two. Distractions outside the kitchen can knock you off your A game in the kitchen. All it takes is your car getting broken into, a bad date, family issues, distracting friends, to make you shift focus. What I learned through this practical is razor sharp focus should be one tool in a chef’s toolbox that he/she carries with them every time they step in the kitchen or the classroom.
My plate came out pretty decent, but there’s always room to improve. ALWAYS. The creme fraiche could’ve used less lime, the chicken was a little dry, ect ect. Strive for perfection in a chaotic, timely manner. The oxymoronic mantra of a chef. Looking forward to more.