Daily Rituals – The first 10 minutes

by. Anthony Demangone

How do you spend the first 10 minutes of your day?

A recent article I read says it is a very important decision. Both for chefs, and for you. Yep, I said chefs. Here’s a snippet.

If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef of Brasserie Les Halles, best-selling author, and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much as boil hot water without attending to a ritual that’s essential for any self-respecting chef: mise-en-place.

The “Meez,” as professionals call it, translates into “everything in its place.” In practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin. It is the planning phase of every meal—the moment when chefs evaluate the totality of what they are trying to achieve and create an action plan for the meal ahead.

For the experienced chef, mise-en-place represents more than a quaint practice or a time-saving technique. It’s a state of mind.

I like Bourdain, and I get a kick out of the quote. Because as much as his personality comes across as free and unpredictable, much of his success has come from planning. From the mise-en-place. 

Do most of us follow suit? The article argues that we do not.

Most of us do not work in kitchens. We do not interact with ingredients that need to be collected, prepped, or measured. And yet the value of applying a similar approach and deliberately taking time out to plan before we begin is arguably greater.

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