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The lessons I learned from hitting rock bottom, and what they say about life in the restaurant industry

Having one’s mise en place under control is inseparable from being successful in a professional kitchen. Loosely translated as having “everything in its place,” the term reflects the spirit of working in a clean, timely, and organized fashion. But for our first five years at my Chicago restaurant, EL Ideas, the phrase held a second, more blasphemous meaning. For us it meant: “Let’s stop prepping and go do a shot.”

As EL quickly became known for the intimate interaction between diners and chefs, it became customary for us to do shots with our guests both during and after service. Many…


Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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