“Mise en place”: Chef Mark Molinaro Finds His New Home

Posted: Wednesday, August 28th 2013 at 3:18 AM

Mise en place,” a French term meaning “everything in its place” is one of the pillars on which Chef Mark Molinaro is building his School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) curriculum. “We have two precious hours in the kitchen,” says Chef, so he has developed a blended learning curriculum encompassing three elements, the pre-class mise en place, the in-class kitchen and food survey, and the after-class Action Items.

The mise en place is the work done in advance of the class in which the students will prepare by reading their book, “The Professional Chef.” Unlike traditional classroom texts, this book is presented through inkling.com as a rich, interactive experience, with in-the-moment explanations of terms, photos of referenced dishes, and video demonstrations of techniques.

Once in the classroom, Chef intends to present a broad survey of foods in a style drawing on both his Classical training in culinary arts as well as his embrace of technology. It will be a “high speed tour of the kitchen” but Chef also wants the kitchen be an expression of the Chef’s Office, reflecting everything a chef or a sous chef would do in a kitchen as it relates to management. They will look at the fundamentals of kitchen management. Chef explains, “They are going to know Best Practices. How do you look at the kitchen as a general manager or as an F&B director? How can you make more profitable management decisions?”

Chef hopes that this approach will bring a respect for the kitchen and how to utilize the resources available. “Something is only expensive if you don’t charge enough for it. That’s something I really want the students to understand.”

But Chef’s eyes light up the most when he refers to the part he is hoping his students play in the classroom. He can’t wait to see what the students bring to the experience. “What are you curious about? What do you want to learn? Do you want to feel what it’s like to be a cook in a kitchen? Really embrace that so when you go into your future role and you talk to a chef, you have some experience to come at that chef with and build relationships, because that is what it is going to take [to be a good manager]... We can be really professional and really upscale everything, if we want. We’ll see.”

Life Before NAU–FCB HRM

Chef Mark Molinaro, lecturer at Northern Arizona University – The W. A. Franke College of Business’ School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, joins us from the New England Culinary Institute (NECI). Chef brings more than 20 years of experience to the students during which he solidified his love of cooking and his love of teaching. As he went to reach beyond his various roles with NECI, he found HRM, a student-centered environment that struck a chord with him. Since his arrival, he describes his experience this way. “[HRM faculty and staff] have gone above and beyond, getting me comfortable, getting me ready, so I can service the students.” He looks forward to the year ahead.

Mise en place seems to describe how Chef Mark feels, now that he has found his new home at HRM.

Categories: chef mark molinaro fall 2013 chef mark molinaro mise en place faculty