20 Ways to Find Joy in Every Day
We chefs believe that the better you prepare, the better you'll be. So the concept of mise en place—French for "put in place"—is crucial to us. The term describes the organizing of tools and ingredients for the evening's menu, but it's also a kind of mental state—the knowledge that everything is ready, that all potential problems have been anticipated. A pot's handle hanging off the stove, a missing bit of garnish—these things can derail you. So you turn the handle inward. You keep the garnish at hand. It becomes ingrained, even in daily life. Say I'm going to a baseball game. I double-check that I have my tickets. I think about my shoes: They should be comfortable, and not my nicest pair. (What if I spill beer on them?) I think about the weather. What if it changes? It's the same mind-set I have in the kitchen: How can I make things run smoothly? Thinking this way makes you more efficient, more relaxed—and never less than ready for what lies ahead.