Mise en Place

No pictures, just a crazy day.

I am convinced that life revolves around the phrase “mise en place”.  For those that don’t know it means to have your things in places, lined up, organized, everything in order and ready.  Without “mise en place” a kitchen would fail.  Simple as that.  If your only thinking about today, your a day late.  You have to be constantly thinking about tomorrow or the day after.  Mise en place is anticipating your bosses needs, anticipating problems before they happen.
Well try as we might to always be a step ahead that doesn’t always happen, like today.  We were in prep service and the team and I were flying through our jobs.   I mean we were moving, knocking everything out flawlessly without skipping a beat.  The weeds didn’t exist to us tonight.   Chef  gave us extra side work.  Didnt matter, we banged it out and were on the edge to finishing 15 minutes early. Rare.  I finished seasoning the espumas, brought them to chef and got them both approved on the first try…rare for most…a first for me.  Clutch.  We left for family meal as one of the first in line with grins on our faces.  “Todo perfecto” as we like to say.  Well that all came crashing down on me right after we got back from comida.
It was three minutes before service starts and as im moseying around spot checking the station Reynaldo (a fellow cook on fish station) comes up to me asking what parsley did I use for the potato espuma?  I look at him confused. Of course I used the 2 grams that was mise en placed for me that…(my heart stopped).  The two grams that is still in the cooler and not in the potato espuma where it should be.  Right at this moment my hands are trembling, mind racing, throat tight, and heart at an obsolute dead stop.  Its impossible, absolutely impossible.  How do I forget to put the parsley in there.  Oh thats right I was so anxious from flying through everything else I decide to skip a step apparently.  At that moment I knew I had to pull something out of my culo or I was dead.  Make a new espuma? no way, too long too obvious.  Play dumb and do nothing?  One cook thought so, but that would be suicide.  I thought back to when I was practicing for a competition with Chef browning when we were playing around with different types of foams through isi canisters.  He was emptying pure co2 out of a canister by holding it up right with a cloth over the tip…”killin the ozone n’ making hippys cry”.  What a blessing for his sense of humor reminding me of that,  and saving my life. As if I had wings I took off like a jet to the other side of the kitchen for a bowl, dumped the espuma, threw the parsley Reynaldo whisked it and took the dishes, I was pouring it all back in and finally took a breath.  I got away with it, I was home free.  I was mid pour when I hear chef turning the corner giving out orders.  He gets to me and catches me.  This is when I stop breathing again.  I’m already imagining my head literally being ripped off.  Though after being questioned with my head down in shame all I got was a “be carefull next time”. . . .”oido (heard) chef”  My hands were still trembling but I had never been so relieved.  By some miracle I still had my head on my shoulders and service was going to go smoothly as ever if nothing had ever happened.

Life is Mise en place.

Published by marcobahena


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