At the Table:
Use your knife to cut
and your fork to put the food in your mouth.
Resist the urge to eat with a spoon to expedite your meal.
Even with rice, small pasta, mashed potatoes, etc.,
use a fork to control the size of your bites.
Leave spoons for soup, yogurt
and the occasional bowl
of ice cream.
There's a time and a place for eating with your hands.
There are certain foods that we can all agree can be eaten with your
hands no matter the context. If we're at home with a group of close
friends, we don't have a problem with anyone using their fingers to
nibble on green beans or snag the last veggie roll, but when we're at
restaurants, one should generally stick with whatever utensils the
restaurant provides unless eating with your hands is clearly a part of
the meal ordered.
Take small bites and try not to speak
with your mouth open.
When one chews with their mouth open, air is swallowed, which can
lead to flatulence and indigestion. Chewing with the mouth closed
will spare one's dining companions the sickening annoyance of...
Close your mouth when you chew.
Don't talk with your mouth full.
This is not cute. It is an absolute appetite killer.
Those around a person who talks with
a full mouth are sickened by this obnoxious behavior. If one has to
cram in a bite of food, obviously the bite is too big!
Cut only one bite at a time.
This rule applies to salad, as well.
If one picks up a forkful of greens that are too big for the mouth,
use the knife to fold or cut them.
**Follow the lead of the French, who always fold,
never cut lettuce.
A few dining tips
bites and try
Don't push plate away at end of meal.
Don't put your elbows on the table or lean on the table.
Tables do flip.
Don't lean back on your chair.
People do flip.
Don't wave your flatware in the
air, even if your story is really
Don't pick your teeth at the table.
Do excuse yourself to go to the restroom to manage grooming issues.
Leave your napkin on your chair if excusing yourself
from the table during the meal.
Do make an effort to try everything served and avoid bringing
attention to your personal food dislikes.
Pass salt and pepper together. They are often used together and this
keeps them close to one another.
Do not leave your spoon in the bowl or cup.
Place it on the side of the plate.
Do not be loud or disorderly. Be considerate of other diners.
Do break off a small mouth sized bit of bread before buttering.
Eat the bread piece by piece.
Rest your cutlery between mouthfuls.
Learn and use the rest position.
Do spoon away from you when eating soup.
Put your fork down between bites.
Never resting your fork means you're eating too fast,
depriving your brain of the time it needs to
receive the message from your stomach
that you're no longer hungry.
Ask for things to be passed to you, don't lean over the table.
If you need to blow your nose, excuse yourself
and go out of the room first.
Don't grab everything you want first -
help others to get their food and be prepared to share.
Resist the urge to gorge on food and binge.
By taking some time between bites we allow
ourselves adequate time to digest.
Everything goes in the order that it would be used.
Start by placing the dinner plate at the center of that guest's place setting. Place the salad plate on top (this could also be a charger underneath the dinner plate, either way). Next place the napkin to the left of the plate (the napkin could also be placed on top of the plates) with the dinner fork closest to the plate, then the salad or appetizer fork on the outside. On the right, the knife goes closest to the plate and the spoon on the outside. Water and wine glasses go above the knife with the wine glass closest to the guests right hand (just think, you want them to drink more wine so you put the glass in a more easily accessible place).
The bread and butter plate and butter knife go either above the forks or to the left of the forks. As for dessert cutlery, the easiest way to remember is that the pieces would slide down into the correct position for usage by the correct hand. Meaning, the bottom of the dessert fork is on the left and the bottom of the dessert spoon is on the right.
- Butter plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.
- Dinner fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, it is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.
- Fish fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.
- Salad fork: If salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.
- Dinner knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.
- Fish knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.
- Salad knife: (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration.) If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right):dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.
- Soup spoon or fruit spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.
- Oyster fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork is set to the right of the spoons. Note: It is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate.
- Butter knife: This small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.
- Glasses: These can number up to five and are placed so that the smaller ones are in front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right goes a champagne flute (lb); In front of these are placed a red (lc) and/or white (ld) wine glass and a sherry glass (le)
- Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate.