The Pre-Baking Ritual Duff Goldman Insists On

Professional chefs know the importance of keeping a kitchen clean — particularly for health and safety reasons. In many workspaces, "clean as you go" has become something of a workplace anthem. Cleaning before cooking has even started may not be the first impulse of many at-home chefs. For celebrity pastry chef Duff Goldman, however, some of the most important cleanings begin before the first ingredient is ever measured into cups.

Speaking with Insider in 2020, Goldman explained that he doesn't start baking until his entire kitchen is clean. Taking out the trash and doing the dishes before he starts assembling recipes helps him get into the culinary zone. Only after his space is tidy and neat does Goldman begin to prep, set out ingredients, and preheat the oven. He advises aspiring bakers to have all equipment and materials ready so that any sudden interruptions during the baking process can be avoided, and no time is wasted searching for supplies.

Preparing for culinary success

Goldman referred to misplaced containers and dirty spatulas as "gumption traps," or specific moments that could distract you from taking prompt and necessary steps in the baking process. These hiccups could result in a burnt dish or simply become a turning point at which you throw in the towel and walk out of the kitchen.

Goldman encourages setting yourself up for success. By starting with a clean and organized kitchen, you'll more easily maintain the motivation and energy needed to see a recipe through to the end. Plus, working in a sparkling space can result in a more enjoyable baking experience from start to finish, and you'll be more likely to try another recipe again in the near future. The next time you set out to bake a cake, turn on your favorite playlist, wipe down all surfaces, organize the ingredients you'll need, and then get to baking.