How well you cook depends on how well your ingredients are cut.
Obviously, bad technique and blunt knives get in the way. However, even with the best knife and the best technique, another enemy lurks in your kitchen – a lit stove. If you try to cut vegetables with a lit stove at the side, you are forced to cut them hastily, lest whatever is on the stove burns. Even with the best knife and the best technique, this leads to sloppily cut ingredients.
Great chefs are aware of this pitfall – that is why, they always prep their ingredients before lighting up the stove. As with most things cullinary, they have given this practice a fancy French name – mise en place. Literally, to ‘put in place’.
The hidden reason for mediocre work is often the temptation to do everything at once.