Mise en Place Is a Myth
Talking about the choreography of cooking
“The restaurant model of cooking that became so popular, of doing mise en place, sort of assumes that you have an assistant or two to do the mise en place, and then you just stand in front of the stove and put everything together, which of course is ideal. If you have an assistant, you don't need How to Cook Everything Fast. But no one does. And cooking is a dance.” — Mark
Today’s episode of Food with Mark Bittman is a little different. As most of you know, my team — because, believe me, it’s very much a team effort — and I, this fall, published a completely revised and updated edition of How to Cook Everything Fast, a cookbook that was originally published in 2014.
The original maintained, and we still maintain, that cooking can remain an essential human activity, one that can relax us after long and stressful days, one that can bring us closer to our families, one that can put a lifetime of nourishment and endless eating possibilities at our fingertips.
Life has become more complicated in the last ten years, and these statements are obviously not true for everyone, but I do stand by this: Cooking can become simpler.
Since that 2014 edition came out, we’ve become more sophisticated eaters. We’ve learned to understand and appreciate global flavors and cooking traditions more, and we’re paying closer attention to where our food comes from, and where it’s going in the future.
The new edition of Fast reflects this. And so with me today, to celebrate this new edition, and our work together in general, really, I have my longtime colleague and friend, Kerri Conan, who’s worked with me on most of my books and is an invaluable member of our team. Kate interviewed us both about our process and about what makes this new edition of Fast special. You’ll see the camaraderie that we all share — it’s what makes our work together so rewarding.
Please listen and subscribe, and please review on Apple, as it really helps. Today’s podcast recipe is the Spinach Carbonara from Fast, which people are loving.
Thank you, as always. — Mark
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I am a long time fan of yours but I need to respectfully disagree on your Mise en Place essayI am, by nature, messy and pretty disorganized. For years when I cooked I would be scrambling in the midst of cooking to find an ingredient, make a substitution, just make the meal and get it on the table. I thought Mise en Place was too fussy. In the past few years I have come to embrace it; following it has helped me calm down while cooking, get a good recipe on the table in a timely manner, and make cooking, which I have loved my whole life, more enjoyed.
Just my 2 cents worth.