Introduction to commercial cookery: mise en place

Interested in a career in commercial cookery?Preparation is one of the most important components of food service in a hospitality environment. Insufficient preparation can act as a starting point for unsatisfactory service. The term used for preparation in the hospitality industry is “mise en place.”

Mise en place

“Mise en place” is a French term meaning ‘everything in its place’ and refers to preparation carried out before the day’s trading begins. This means that prior to a service period you must have everything prepared: food, cookery and service equipment, crockery, cutlery, condiments, cruets, etc. Meats, fish, and other ingredients should be prepared and portioned ahead of time. If the meals to be served require garnishes, sauces, or accompaniments, then they need to be identified and the necessary ingredients prepared before the service begins.

You need to ensure that all equipment and ingredients are ready before you open for business.

The menu offered by your establishment will determine the foods you need to prepare. Menu and food style will be dependent on the type of operation for which you work, e.g. restaurants, cafes, catering outlets, fast food establishments, etc.

In any food service industry, you could be serving:

  • Entrees

  • Main courses

  • Desserts

  • Soups

  • Sandwiches

  • Breakfast items

  • Canapés and appetisers

  • Salads

You need to know your establishment’s menu, where all the necessary supplies are kept, and to ensure that prior to each service period you prepare enough food and organise sufficient equipment to support smooth operation during the service period.

Preparing for service also means making sure you have enough food to cater for the number of expected customers.

A Certificate III in Commercial Cookery gives you the skills and knowledge to confidently prepare meals for small and large groups.