Features. / The Lifestyle Corner

Top Ten Tips to Fine Dining

[Written by Marie-Blaise Capo-Chichi]

Fine dining is something we should all encounter at least once in our lives. So let’s not wait for the time to come before we start learning. Without further ado, here are a few tips to help you get started.

 1)    There is no need to call the waiter.

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Calling or raising your hand to get the waiter’s attention is something most of us- if not all- practice on a daily basis. For fine dining, the inverse applies- the waiter is trained to know when he or she is needed, so do not fritter away time by fretting about getting the waiter’s attention.

2)    Use your silverware from the outside in.

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[Photo credit: gorod.tomsk.ru]

Your dining table would look similar to the picture above. In case you forget everything else about which fork or which knife to use for what, remember that you always start with silverware (cutlery) on the outside- in this case, that would be the spoon- and work your way in with every course of the meal.

3)    Always hold your fork in your left hand, and your knife in your right.

3[Photo credit: Forbes]

 This might seem pretty basic, but there’s more to it – never switch your cutlery between hands, and when eating, your fork tines should always be facing downward, except when you are eating foods that cannot be picked up, such as rice.

 4)    When using your cutlery, beware of your finger positioning.

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[Photo credit: beefgravy blogspot]

Your right forefinger should be placed between the handle and the blade of the knife and the left one between the handle and tines of the fork to ensure a firm grip on your cutlery. Make sure to keep your elbows off the table as well.

 5)    Never pass across the table. Always pass to the person next to you. When asking for something to be passed, you also ask the person next to you.

6)    Taste before seasoning

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[Photo credit: joannagoddard blogspot]

Always taste your food before seasoning- doing the opposite is disrespectful towards the Chef. It is an indirect implication that the food is not up to par.

 7)    Scoop your soup away from you.

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[Photo credit: Professional image dress]

When eating soup, you must scoop with the spoon away from you, because if you scoop toward you, it implies that you are greedy.

8)    Cross the knife and fork in the middle of the plate.

The tines of the fork must be facing upwards and the knife lying on it. This signifies to the waiter that you are taking a break and that they are not to remove your plate. However, if you still have food on your plate, then place your knife and fork on their respective sides, at the edges of the plate.

9)    Leave your napkin on the bread plate or your seat if you have to leave

If you need to leave your seat, perhaps to go to the washroom, leave your loosely folded napkin on your bread-plate, or on the seat of your chair before pushing it in. This is to signify that you will be returning to your place at the table.

10)Place the knife and fork parallel to each other when finished.

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[Photo credit: Professional image dress]

 The knife and fork are placed in this manner to the right of the plate to signal to the waiter that you are done with your meal.

With these tips handy, you can thoroughly enjoy your meal rather than worrying about etiquette, as long as you’re careful not to slurp or make “unpleasant” sounds with your mouth, and do not fiddle with your silverware. Here’s to hoping that you enjoy the experience!

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