When to start eating:
Despite what mother told you, culinary experts say you do not always have to wait for everyone to begin – start eating hot food when it is served. For cold foods or buffets, wait for the host to announce dinner and wait until the head guest starts dishing.
The correct table settings
|Serviette (napkin)||Service plate||Soup bowl on plate||Bread & butter plate|
with butter knife
|White wine||Red wine||Fish fork||Dinner Fork||Salad fork|
|Service knife||Fish knife||Soup spoon||Dessert spoon and cake fork|
Note that it often is recommended that the salad fork (J) is placed to the left of the dinner fork (I). However, in this formal setting the dinner fork is placed to be used before the salad fork because it is suggested that the guest awaits the main meal before helping him/herself to the salad.
1. Bread: break slices of bread, rolls and muffins in half or into small pieces by hand before buttering.
2. Bacon: if there’s fat on it, eat it with a knife and fork. If it is crisp, crumble it with a fork and eat with your fingers.
3. Finger meals: follow the cue of your host. If finger meals are offered on a platter, place them on your plate before putting them into your mouth.
4. Foods meant to be eaten by hand: corn on the cob, spareribs, lobster, clams and oysters on the half shell, chicken wings and bones (in informal situations), sandwiches, certain fruits, olives, celery, dry cakes and cookies.
Removing inedible items from your mouth:
1. Olive pits: drop delicately into your palm before putting them onto your plate.
2. Chicken bone: use your fork to return it to the plate.
3. Fish bones: remove with your fingers.
4. Bigger pieces: bigger bones or food you don’t appreciate you should surreptitiously spit into your serviette (napkin), so that you can keep it out of sight.