bain marie, or water bath is a set up involving placing one vessel (containing, often, something with eggs) inside another (filled with warm water). The heated water ensures a constant, even distribution of indirect heat, enabling the eggs to cook slowly with little risk of curdling.

block is our term for any pantry item you consider (or that becomes) fundamental to your way of cooking. Stocks are blocks, as are brines, poaching liquids, and good oils.

bridge is an ingredient that extends or spans other ingredients to create a dish with complexity and interest. Condiments are obvious bridges: pesto, dressings, pickles and relishes, seasoning mixes, etc. But the best of these are homemade and sometimes derived from other prepared ingredients. In other words, they are delicious by-products of the cooking process.

holding point is the term we use at “2 minutes” and Purple Kale Kitchenworks to describe food prepared to the furthest useful point just before storage quality would suffer. Think of a holding point as a nod to home preservation. It is, in essence, a modest “putting by,” a way of storing food to use throughout the duration of your shopping cycle.

mise en place is a French culinary term referring to a dish or menu’s partial preparation, in advance of the final cooking or assembly of a meal. As used in this blog and in Purple Kale Kitchenworks’ courses, mise en place, broadly describes any item that is prepared to a particular holding point, often even to the point of eating, but still versatile enough to serve as an component of other dishes. It is the way a chef sets up her station so that she may cook a number of dishes, to order, rapidly, in a constrained physical space, and with the highest quality and freshness.