The ultimate rule regarding the order of cutlery use is to work inwards from both sides.
I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be the one who sticks out like a sore thumb at an exquisite dinner, as you pile the starters, main course and dessert dishes all in one plate and then proceed to attack this food mountain with a dessert fork in one hand and a main meal knife in the other!
Believe it or not, knowing what fork to use at which point of a 3 course meal is a detail that many people are not aware of. Most of us are used to an informal table setting where the cutlery, glasses and serving dishes are few.
So what do you do when you receive and invitation to attend a three course dinner at a classy restaurant?
Maybe you have ever found yourself in a situation where you are seated round a table set for a three course meal.
Eventually you are ready to eat, however you don’t know what cutlery item to start with. You notice that everyone around you has started eating so you stare down at the table in desperate confusion and all you need to do now is figure out what fork to start with.
You are hesitant to ask someone around you for guidance because you just might be laughed at, so you take a deep breath and take a guess you think to yourself, this better be the right one!
If you have ever been a similar situation, or would like to avoid the embarrassment of being in one here is a little information that you may find useful.
The ultimate rule regarding the order of cutlery use is to work inwards from both sides; this means that utensils on the outermost position are to be used first.
Glasses are also set out in order of use above the knives. Usually means that the water glass will be set to the left, then to its right you will find the red wine, white wine, sherry and then a champagne glass.
This seems very complicated but rest assured because not all fancy dinner tables are set with so many different glass types.
In restaurant language, if you are eating and your fork and knife are neatly placed side by side, it means you have finished with your meal. Avoid doing this if you don’t want a waiter to accidently walk off with your unfinished meal.
Rather, separate your knife and fork, this will send a message out that you are still eating; however join them together at the end of your meal.
If you are at a buffet, don’t feel like you have to pile your plate in one go with all three courses, whether out of ignorance or hunger, it shouldn’t be done! Take your time and enjoy the full courses at the appropriate intervals.
If your aim is to eat till you drop, you’ll find that this approach can get you closer to that target, rather than heaping up a plate all in one go.
Keep the above guidelines in mind and you’ll be sure to save yourself the horror of embarrassment, if ever you are invited to dine at a sophisticated restaurant.