What Nyesha Arrington Thinks All Pro Chefs Need

Obviously, cooking for a reality competition differs drastically from cooking in an actual kitchen. For one thing, the music in the kitchen is better than the reality television dramatic tones throbbing in the background. However, Chef Nyesha Arrington maintains that the two situations are not utterly dissimilar. 

Talking to FoodSided about the "MasterChef Legends" semifinals, she explained that an important skill tested in both situations is organization. "Not just organization of the tools," Chef Arrington added, "but also of the mind. When it is time to turn on the jets, the best thing to do is to stay focused, stay organized, and work efficiently. Don't get in your head or over contemplate your plan of execution, that's how and when you fumble. Just flow." 

And true enough, the times you see someone melting down in "MasterChef" are almost always due to pressure getting the better of them than incompetence. Of course, it is easier to "just flow" when you are Chef Arrington. But it is advice we can take even into our home kitchens.

But how should we orgaznie?

The obvious follow-up question for those who truly suffer when it comes to organized cooking is about how we should keep ourselves organized. After all, if remaining focused came naturally, the advice would be redundant. While Chef Nyesha Arrington focuses more on nerves, others offer tips for keeping one's mise en place uncluttered.

Writing for America's Test Kitchen, Joe Gitter admits that despite the need for chefs to be clean and efficient, his personality tended toward disorder. He continues by offering examples of how he structures his cooking space to counter this. Instead of placing his cutlery in drawers, he has a utensil holder. Similarly, Tupperware and nesting bowls are a must because they clean easily and stack.

The Kitchn expands on the idea, offering 21 ways we can tweak our cooking space into something more accessible. As with America's Test Kitchen, a lot of these are about investing in specific products for certain issues. A turntable, for example, allows you to spin oils and vinegars that would otherwise hide in the back of the cupboard. However, they also go in the opposite direction, suggesting a Marie Kondo-style approach to your equipment. If you have duplicate pots or pans you never use, discard them. All they are doing is taking up space and adding chaos to an already stressful situation. The ultimate lesson, however, is to make your space work for you. When you are comfortable in it, you will not be overcome so easily.