Chapter 2 on Cooking

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After completion of this chapter the reader will be able to: 1. Define and discuss mise en place.
2. Apply U.S. and metric measurement systems.
3. Discuss the importance of standardized recipe in quality and cost control. 4. State the structure and components of a recipe.
5. Apply the principles of recipe conversion.
6. Apply the principles of recipe costing.
7. State the importance of the recipe.


Culinary preparation, as both an art and science in the modern kitchen, requires more than just knowledge of the food being prepared and the methods of preparation. General knowledge necessary to be productive in the kitchen includes an understanding of kitchen terminology, weights and measures, and the recipe.


Visitors to a foreign country have a difficult time comprehending the culture and the people if they do not know at least a small amount of the language. To understand the art and science of culinary preparation it is also necessary to know the language. Many of the terms used in the kitchen are familiar to everyone; however there may be different or additional definitions in the kitchen.

Many of the more specialized terms will be dealt with in the individual chapters through out this text. The terms for the bakery and pastry shop in particular will be discussed in the section on baking. A glossary of common kitchen terms is provided in this text. You need to review these to start on the road to a full comprehension of the language of the kitchen. This is a language that does not recognize the boundaries of one country or dialect.

The purpose of the language of the kitchen is much the same as that of the accountant or the physician. It allows those who produce food to communicate in a common form. This need for a common language encompasses more than just a conglomeration of terminology. It also includes application of certain principles and philosophies. Of vital importance in this area are mise en place, weights and measures, the recipe and cost control.


Mise en place, in the broadest sense, means a constant state of efficient readiness. Master Chef Roland Henin states that it is " a general name given to those elementary preparations which are constantly resorted to during the various stages of all culinary preparation." It is this organizing of one's self and station that allows for timely preparation and service.

Mise en place varies with the specific objectives of the kitchen and individual; however, the goal remains the same. It is the organizing and completing in advance, all the preliminary tasks involved in the preparation of a meal. Whether the mise en place is carried out for a conventional kitchen, preparation kitchen, or finishing kitchen the preliminary work, pre-prep, must be completed methodically and carefully before further work in the kitchen can be executed.

Basic mise en place for the various stations and departments in the kitchen should be put in writing to insure consistency. However, the individual preparing items must always determine the mise en place necessary for the various duties and recipes assigned in the kitchen. The saying ' a good mise en place is half the cooking', applies to small kitchens as well as large preparation and finishing kitchens.

Simplification of the cooking process is the goal. Before cooking and service begins, allow yourself time to carefully check your mise en place. In this manner cooking and ultimately service can be completed in an organized and timely fashion.

Mise en place for service should always include a number of reserve items. These should of comparable quality to the original menu items. This step will allow unexpected orders to be filled easily and promptly. This...
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