The timing of how you prepare your meal is key to making it all come together perfectly. 
 
First, I gather all my ingredients for each dish I am making and place them on the counter. Next, I think about what takes the longest to prepare, what needs to be finished at the very end, and what I can work on while other ingredients are cooking. 
 
If you have a lot of chopping, I suggest doing it all at once. It saves time to chop everything at one time and set the items you need later aside. Measuring out all your herbs and spices per recipe can also be very helpful. It lets you put the dish together quickly without stopping and measuring every little item. I also find it beneficial to set the platters and serving utensils out so that the serving plate or bowl is at your fingertips when you are done making the dish. 
 
Think of the process of orchestrating a meal, like organizing an afternoon of chores you need to run. You don’t want to run back and forth through town all afternoon. You want to work smoothly and efficiently towards your expected outcome. 
 
Why is timing that big of a deal? Because I believe it is important to serve my hot food piping hot, the cold foods cool and crisp, and the room temperature foods right at room temp. Pulling this off takes a little bit of strategizing and planning, but so worth it to get a perfectly timed meal on the table for friends and family to enjoy!