We’ve talked a lot lately about the “What Ifs” in life—handling those unexpected moments that could range from split pants, an online argument, or biting into too-hot food. Today, let’s talk about fine dining without fear!
WHAT DO I DO…if I’m at a formal meal and don’t know what utensil to use?
Watch the host, hostess, the senior person at your table—or the one you think has the most dining savvy! “Formal” can mean a wide variety of things, but we can say that there will always be two guidelines to help up navigate the table setting, whether it’s for a formal meal, a casual one, or a picnic. Those guidelines are:
1. Watch your host/hostess
2. Start from the outside and work toward the plate
If the occasion is most formal and you are facing multiple forks, spoons, and knives, start with the outermost utensil of each kind to begin the meal. Think of it as if the utensils are placed in order of their use, so start with the utensils farthest away from the plate, working in toward the plate. Know that those utensils are planned and paired with each specific course, so you’ll have the usable utensils to enjoy eating that particular course. Now, that is the essence of good manners: a host/hostess that has planned the table setting so that you will have the utensils you need!