Dining Etiquette with Sybil Davis (Part 2 of 4)

Uploaded by gtccte on 02.07.2010

Now for the ladies - If you brought a purse with you that purse should never be placed on the table.
It has probably been on the floor at some point in time,
so there might be a lot of bacteria on the bottom of that purse,
and you don't want that up on the table where people are eating.
So, place it in your chair, or if you have an arm on your chair,
you could hang it on the arm, or you can place it on the floor.
If you place it on the floor, make sure that it is pushed up under the table
so no one will trip over that purse - especially guests and servers.
Now, a little bit about what to do with your napkin:
This is a dinner napkin so as soon as you sit down, you want to unfold your napkin
and you want to place it in your lap.
Now, we don't need to give it a healthy shake, do we?
So unfold it to the point where it is folded half in two,
and place the folded side up next to your body so that you can blot when you need to.
Now, I said 'blot.' I didn't say rub and scrub, did I?
So just blot when you need to blot your mouth
If you want to leave the table, and you plan on returning
there is a silent service code that will let the server know that you are going to be coming back,
and that server will not remove your food, until you do get back - if you place your napkin in the right place.
That would not be back on the table if you are planning on returning.
That would just be folded loosely, placed in the seat of your chair or across the arm of your chair
or, if there is no arm, across the back of your chair.
That tells the server you are returning.
When you have finished eating, your napkin does go back
on the table to the left hand side of your place setting like so
not folded, but just loosely to the left hand side of your place setting, never in your plate.
If you place it in your plate, that will place your right into the 'Hall of Shame.'
So, now we know what to do with our napkins.
Let's talk about all of these utensils.
A good rule of thumb is to work from the outside in when deciding on what utensil to use.
In this case, we have a cocktail fork, and that means we have a little appetizer that we're going to enjoy.
It might be in a container something like this, a little bit of crushed ice underneath, maybe a crab meat cocktail.
You would enjoy that appetizer, and when you finish, you would not leave that utensil in the container.
You would put it on the under plate when you had finished.
Your next course then - again, we're working our way from the outside in -
would be your soup course.
How do we eat soup properly?
We don't shovel it toward us! We spoon it away from us.
Spoon it away from you, bring the spoon to your mouth, and sip from the side.
In fine dining, your soup would probably be a consomme or a cream soup,
and so that would make it easier. If it is a chunky vegetable soup,
you wouldn't have any choice but to put most of that spoon in your mouth,
but for a consomme or cream soup, spoon away and sip from the side of the spoon.
When you have finished with your soup, don't leave that spoon in the soup bowl of soup cup.
Place it on the under plate toward the back. That would tell the server that you have finished.
In fine dining, we have several courses. So we might have a fish course that would be next.
But also in fine dining, the portions are fairly small.
Let's just say that we have been served a small piece of fish.
We're going to enjoy that with our fish knife and our fish fork.
Now, I'm going to show you how to properly hold your utensils in just a second,
and I'm going to show you a couple of different methods.
Now we have our salad. And it's okay to cut lettuce in spite of what you heard.
It's okay! You know I've had some pieces of lettuce that were so large
I couldn't possibly get those in my mouth without cutting them.
So that's why we're given a salad knife.
Let's move on to our entree. Let's just pretend that we have a nice piece of fillet here.
Getting hungry?
So we have our entree knife and our entree fork.
This is where I'm going to show you a couple of ways to use your utensils.
I'm going to talk about the continental style and the American style.
I'm even going to throw in a bit about an Asian style.
Let's start off with Continental, holding the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand.
The tines of the fork are down. You have your forefinger on top for leverage.
The same with your knife.
You cut off one piece at a time.
And with continental, you do not put your knife down.
You continue to hold it in your right hand.
And you convey the food to your mouth with your fork with the tines down.
I am often asked, "What if I have English peas?"
How could I possibly eat English peas with the tines of the fork turned down?"
Well, what do we usually have with English peas? Mashed potatoes!
There's your glue!
You just press a few mashed potatoes onto the back of your fork.
Then you can scoop some English peas into those mashed potatoes,
and it sticks together like glue.
Then you convey and you can eat it very easily.
With the continental style, if you want to rest -
you want to take a drink of your beverage or talk to the other people at the table -
The resting position - and this is part of the silent service code for servers -
the resting position for continental would be the fork crossed over the knife
with the cutting edge of the knife toward the center of the plate
This says, 'I am not finished yet. Please don't take my plate.'
In fine dining, servers do know these styles, and they know the positions of the utensils
and they can read and tell what to do by how your leave your utensils.
If you have completely finished with a course, the 'I am finished' position for continental is
the fork in the middle of the plate, the knife above the fork
with the cutting edge again toward the center of the plate.
Tines of the fork down.
And let's just think of the clock: about 20 after 10.
So the bottom of the handles at 20 and the top at the 10.
That's a good way to remember the finish position for your utensils.
Servers do know that finish position, too.
Now let's talk about the American style of dining.
We start off the same way in holding our utensils,
but with either style, we want to keep our elbows close in to our sides.
Cut off a piece of food.
Place your knife toward the top of the plate. Cutting edge toward the center of the plate,
Then we switch the fork over to the right hand,
at the same time we are turning the tines of that fork up,
and then we are picking up the food and conveying the food to the mouth.
With the resting position, with the American style
place the fork toward the center of the plate
we leave the knife at the top of the plate, the fork with the tines up.
That says, "I'm resting, I have not finished. Please don't take my plate."
But, if you have finished and you are using the American style,
Just move the knife down, and toward the center right above the fork
And that says "I'm finished." And I'm using the American Style of Dining.
Only one little bit of difference here between Continental and American with "I am finished" position.
and that is that the tines of the fork are turned up for American.
Now I mentioned that I might thrown in a little bit about the Asian style.
I learned this while working in Thailand.
This is even in a formal setting.
In a lot of Asian countries, they use a large spoon and a fork.
Now, we like to think that they use chop sticks all the time. They do not.
In Thailand they use chop sticks only for noodles.
Other than noodles, this is the way they dine.
They take the fork and they pick up the food and sort of push it over into the big spoon.
And then you eat from the spoon. And it works very well!