A Day In The Life of A Chef – Mise N Place & Menu Planning

Thank you for joining this fun week of A Day In The Life of A Chef.

I am enjoying this fun tour I had with my friend last week in the kitchen and today I dined at the restaurant again with a friend of mine. If you love Venetian food then you must try this restaurant called Polpo. They have two locations one in Chelsea and the other in Soho. My friend is in charge of the menu for Chelsea and he has done a very good job. The flavors are really lovely and simple. I love the freshness and the ingredients being used.

Do you ever wonder who is behind the creation of your plates being made from the kitchen? Well, I sat down with my friend and executive chef from Polpo restaurant to interview about this.

One of the most important things we must do in the kitchen as chefs in mise n place meaning everything in one place. Of course, we learn this right away when we go to culinary school, but you carry this on always in a restaurant when prepping. Think of a kitchen as a theatre production. Theatre has there sections of instruments just like the kitchen.

Kitchens will more than likely have the following sections:

  • The pizza section
  • The pantry section which consists of salads and desserts
  • The fryer section
  • The hot section
  • The pass is where the executive chef calls the tickets and making sure the plates are ready to go.
  • The dishwashing station where KP is.

Mise N Place

The best way to organize the restaurant kitchen is to make sure to check at night to order ingredients that may be needed. The head chef makes sure to order what they need for the next day.

It is really important to check what is missing in the kitchen in the morning. Some suppliers do second deliveries but sometimes the cut-off time to order is in the morning. So the chefs need to communicate to the head chef what sections need what.

You will have a prep list for your section and make sure you prep for the ingredients you make. For example: If you are at the pizza section you have to make sure you have your pizza dough ready to go. Always make sure to double-check your sections so you are ready.

Preparing The Menu By Season

The first thing is calling the suppliers to see what is in season. The executive chef would then sample the ingredients. Ideas start building when you try the seasonal ingredients.

The chef would get inspiration to make the menu by seeing what is in season, and then testing out new ideas. My friend chef David would get inspiration by trying different restaurants and cuisines.

Once the plates are built and the menu is set, then the executive chef will teach and train the kitchen first and then organize tasting for the front of the house. Explain the dishes and describe everything. The front of the house will have a briefing and then they have a quiz. I think this is very important for food allergies. It is very important to have good runners to organize the plates coming in from the kitchen and getting them out in the right amount of time. I witnessed many times seeing the chef get frustrated because the runners weren’t there to get the hot foods.

Communication is KEY in a kitchen and really saying “yes chef” is very respectful to the head and executive chef so they understand you heard the orders right.

Come join us Friday for a LIVE Instagram Q & A with one of my dear chef friends from London, UK.

You can submit your questions on my Instagram page here https://www.instagram.com/p/CTfrD0-Il8I/?utm_medium=copy_link

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