For Marisa Mangani, everything has its place.  It’s one of the main reasons that she started Mise En Place Design, LLC this past May, a food service design and consulting firm that specializes in designing commercial kitchens for anything from restaurants to country clubs and even hospitals.

“Mise En Place is a French term loosely translated as ‘a place for everything’. It’s used in professional kitchens to describe your setup–for example, if you're a saute cook, in order to be the most efficient and not to run out of everything, you need to make sure your mise en place is all set,” says Mangani. “The same principle applies to designing a kitchen: everything has to be in its right place.” 

Mangani would know. A former award-winning executive chef, her career took from her childhood home of Maui to New Orleans, Australia, Vancouver, and Florida, including stops at three world fairs. After pivoting away from the kitchen in 1994, Mangani brings her 28 years of consulting experience to Mise En Place Design.  The design process starts with learning about the project from the client, whether it be a country club remodel, or a new restaurant, she shares.  “I call it a therapy session. Then we work with the architect to massage the space, ensuring that we have the right size and type of space to create the best overall workflow in the kitchen,” says Mangani. “Essentially following the food from receiving to storage to prep to production to distribution all the way back to dishwashing.”

Once the layout is approved by the client, Mangani readies everything from budgets to mechanical schedules so that the architects and engineers can work their magic. Ongoing clients of her’s include the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and the Bird Key Yacht Club here in Sarasota. Although setting out on her own after 28 years of experience may seem daunting to many, it was a decision that came naturally to Mangani. “It was actually very easy, much to my surprise. I was lucky enough to have a bunch of loyal clients, many of them architects, that allowed me to start Mise En Place,” attests Mangani. “All that was left for me to do was get myself an office, bring along my drafters and all my legal stuff, and I was ready to go. It was obviously something that the universe wanted me to do.”