What does Mise en Place mean?
Do you “mise” your morning routine? My husband, a professional chef turned culinary arts teacher is always reminding us to “mise”. Mise means “Everything in its place.”
Pronounced meez ahn plass it can be one of the most important concepts to teach your middle school and high school students as it sets your class up for organized success.
Using Mise en Place in the Culinary Classroom
Before cooking with kids, mise en place needs to be taught so that your middle and high school students are prepared for the kitchen. Download this poster to help give students a visual guide.
“The universe is in order when your station is set up the way you like it: you know where to find everything with your eyes closed, everything you need during the course of the shift is at the ready at arm’s reach, your defenses are deployed.”-Anthony Bourdain
Culinary Arts and Family and Consumer Science classes spend a lot of time teaching skills and procedures before starting to cook which can lead to some impatient students! If you can make learning about mise en place fun, it will help ease into the school year. Read for some ideas!
Fun Mise en Place Activities for Middle and High School
1- Tie in Real-Life Experiences. After defining mise en place as “everything in its place”, have students brainstorm ways that the mise en place already in their life or times they see a mise en place in action. For instance, many students will set out their outfits the night before, get gas, or prep their breakfast before they go to sleep. They are in essence, setting up their mise en place for the next day.
Another example is discussing restaurants where you can see the mise en place set up. Places like Chipotle and Subway have their food and utensils prepped and ready for customers to see. This is a good way to introduce the concept.
2- Show a Movie Clip. Students love to see movie clips that tie into what they are learning in class. The clip from Ratatouille called “Keep your Station Clear” is a fun way to show students how and why mise en place is important in the kitchen. Here is the clip below:
3- Have students read a recipe and write down how they would use mise en place to get everything “in its place”. You can use this recipe on deviled eggs and have them list all the items they would need before they begin and how they could set them out on the counter. We even have them visualize the “mise” and draw out what the counter will look like before they begin cooking.
We have created an entire resource pack on Mise En Place that we use in our classroom every semester. It includes a slideshow on mise en place, guided notes, questions, and a classroom mise en place poster! The entire resource pack is only $4.00!
Kim Graybill at Family and Consumer Sciences.com has more great ideas for teaching Mise en Place!