I am a huge fan of restaurants, cooking channels, cookbooks, and chefs. I’m also an eager reader of business productivity books. So when I found Work Clean: The Life-Changing Power of Mise-en-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind, by Dan Charnas, I did a little happy dance and snapped it up.
For those of you who aren’t restaurant junkies and who haven’t worked back of the house, “mise-en-place” (or “meeze”) is the prep work and basic routine that chefs use to manage their time, create their meals, and keep the dishes pumping out of the kitchen in a consistent and orderly fashion.
While restaurant food might be art, there’s a definite rigor there, and with good reason: if you mess up an order, or you take too long, people get hangry. Blood sugar drops and tempers flare.
And they’re right in the next room.
And there’s a chance you won’t get paid.
All bad things, all worth taking steps to avoid. If you want to have a Michelin-star quality restaurant, you absolutely need to have your act together.
The chef must deliver.
Personally, I found a lot of gems in this book as far as productivity and mindset (and some great stories about chefs, if you like that sort of thing.) But this passage in particular struck me like a brick in a sock: [Read more…]