I'm looking for a word which describes the act of putting all your ingredients together and cooking them one final time as a way to sort of finalize a meal.

An example is Lasagna. First you cook all the individual parts, but then the final step involves assembling the pieces together and baking them for a while so that the dish holds together better, the flavors mix a bit, and there's also some browning.

In the abstract, I'm thinking about the construction of objects which have many components that are processed individually then brought together for a final collective refinement. Is there a word for this last sort of finishing one does to a bunch of individually finished components?

P.S. I think another example of this, not from cooking, would be "mastering" in the context of music production. That is the final phase where all the tracks are brought together and made to sound like a more cohesive whole rather than a bunch of individual pieces.

  • I'm no cook, but I suspect there are easily a dozen different terms/descriptions, depending on the specific dish being prepared.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 18, 2016 at 22:43
  • 8
    Your answer is in the question. Cooks generally use "finish" for most of the situations you describe. "After the steak reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees, add the sauteed mushrooms and cream sauce, and finish under the broiler for 5 minutes." That is different from the process of arranging the finished items on a plate, which is called (no surprise) "plating".
    – John Feltz
    Dec 18, 2016 at 23:34
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    In addition to the terms @JohnFeltz has provided, the act of putting the lasgna together is assembly
    – Jim
    Dec 19, 2016 at 0:16
  • Putting together all the ingredients in Italian can metaphorically be said as impastare, literally to dough (or mix). But in Italy pasta is quite a big thing, so it's easier to use the word in other contexts. :)
    – Nemo
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:26
  • I feel like you had answered your own question when you had said assemble, although as @HotLicks points out, there's not just one word for every dish. Jan 4, 2017 at 9:38

3 Answers 3


Finish: To complete the preparation of a dish for consumption. This may entail adjusting the seasoning or the consistency, adding garnish, or mounting a soup or sauce with butter or vinegar before service. [AtomicGourmet.com]


Compose: to make or form by combining things, parts, or elements: 'He composed his speech from many research notes.' In Art: to organize the parts or elements of (a picture or the like). [Dictionary.com]


Consolidate: to bring together (separate parts) into a single or unified whole; unite; combine: 'They consolidated their three companies.' [Dictionary.com]


I believe you call that process "preparing a meal" (as a final & relatively quick process of assembling and optionally further cooking). An example can be preparing a sandwich from bread (already baked) and fillings (some of them already cooked or processed otherwise), and optionally grilling it.


prepare VERB

1.2 Make (food or a meal) ready for cooking or eating:
‘she was busy preparing lunch’

‘Ticket holders have access to several stations where chefs prepare the food in woks and large sauté pans.’


Mixing ingredients, such as making a cake: combine Making a lasagna: layering, layer (verb) Assemble, mix, and a dozen other terms.

mix VERB

1: an act or process of mixing 2: a product of mixing: as a) a commercially prepared mixture of food ingredients .

  • A definition of assemble, or layer would have been preferable. The suggested and approved edit, didn't do you any favours. On the other hand, you did suggest this an answer. You mix raw or cooked ingredients before cooking the final dish a second time. "A mix" is often something that contains all the necessary dry ingredients, only requiring the addition of fresh milk, or eggs (for example) and then cooked/baked/refrigerated.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 24, 2017 at 10:15
  • @JHKort you listed the definitions for the NOUN, not the verb.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 24, 2017 at 10:16
  • Someone else edited my response to list the definition, not me. Jan 24, 2017 at 13:32
  • Yes, I can see that, which is why I said the suggested and approved edit didn't do you any favours. If you dislike the edit, then you fix it. But, you also offered "mix" as a possible answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 24, 2017 at 13:34
  • That would require i care enough. Jan 24, 2017 at 13:36

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