Kitchen Terms to Add to Your Vocabulary

These words will help you understand what goes on inside a professional kitchen!

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In between all the episodes of MasterChef and Chef's Table you've been binge-watching, you've probably come across a few unfamiliar words that chefs and cooks use in the kitchen. Kitchen jargon can be confusing, but here are a few words and their meanings that you can add to your vocabulary—the next time you watch Gordon Ramsay run a kitchen, you'll understand everything he shouts to his cooks! 


1  Mise en place

French for "set in place," mise en place is all your prep work neatly laid out and ready for cooking. This means all your vegetables are peeled and chopped as needed, your meat is thawed and ready to cook, and everything is laid out in separate bowls or containers. 


2  Front of house

This refers to the floor or dining area where managers, waiting staff, and bartenders deal with customers. It may also refer to the serving or hosting staff as well. 


3  Back of house

This refers to the kitchen or the storage rooms. Back of the house may also refer to the people that run it: chefs, cooks, and dishwashers. 


4  Expedite

To coordinate order tickets from the front of house staff to the chefs and cooks in the kitchen. The expediter also assembles the orders that are ready for pick-up and makes sure that every plate is perfect. See also: Gordon Ramsay shouting orders to the kitchen staff. 


5  In the weeds

This phrase means that the servers (usually FOH staff) is overloaded with work. If someone says he or she is "in the weeds," it usually means that he or she needs help serving a large number of people in the dining area. 


6  Deuce

This phrase simply means a table for two. 


7  Reach-in

A reach-in is an upright refrigerator, usually one that holds prepped ingredients or ingredients that can't hold at room temperature for a long time. 


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