French for “putting in place,” it refers to the physical workspace of a craftsman. It was popularized as a term for a chef’s work area, arranged and organized for maximum productivity, but now refers to the general idea of optimizing one’s physical – and increasingly virtual – environment for work.
Why I Looked It Up
Anthony Bourdain used the term quite a bit in Kitchen Confidential. I ran into it again in a blog post entitled: Mise-en-Place for Knowledge Workers