Principles in the Kitchen

On Keeping a Clean, Organized Kitchen Workspace

On Keeping a Clean, Organized Kitchen Workspace

I’m a big “mind over matter” guy. And in the belief that most things are 90% mental. The brain is an incredibly powerful thing. And so is an organized and clean kitchen. No matter how much the universe wants us to let the entropy of our lives take over – we humans secretly desire organization and cleanliness. Take away the distractions from your workspace and you will be amazed at how much better you focus.


If you’re the reading incredibly dense scientific paper type, check out Dr. Sabine Kastner and Dr. Stephanie McMain’s 2011 paper “Interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in Human Visual cortex”, published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Some high-quality bedtime reading that discusses the psychology and neuron response to unnecessary visual cues (distractions).


Leading Japanese food critic Masahiro Yamamoto is an expert at identifying the greatest chefs in Japan. With his extensive experience among the best of the best, he highlights the key attributes that make a great chef during the superbly simple David Gelb documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”:


  • A serious attitude towards one’s work; consistently performing at the highest level.
  • Aspiration to improve – to strive for perfection.
  • Cleanliness (including a proper order in one’s life and work): “If a restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good”.
  • Impatience & Stubbornness: lead rather than collaborate.

And lastly, what “ties all these attributes together” is number 5:

  • Passion for one’s work


This documentary comes highly recommended, however proceed with caution if you decide to watch while hungry.


Keeping with theme of some very educational Japanese ideals: the 5S manufacturing ideology follows this same line of thought with regards to cleanliness. The seiso principle reinforces the importance of a sanitized, organized work environment in order to: prevent machine/tool deterioration, create a positive energy in the workspace, and avoid potential errors and wastes that could occur due to disorganization.




The entire act of cooking should be an enjoyable task. Nobody likes cleaning the crumbs off the counter, scrubbing your dishes, pots, pans, and tools. Nonetheless, if you can develop a system that allows this process to be simpler, routine, and ultimately habitual — you will find that the entire experience of preparing, cooking, and eating is enhanced.


Stay tuned for specific tips on keeping a clean, organized kitchen!

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