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The Well Set Table

When most people think of a formal dinner party, an image of men dressed in stuffy tuxedos, stiff butlers with sour looks on their faces, and miserable guests who would rather be anywhere else often come to mind. But that’s not the reality. Formal dinner parties don’t have to be intimidating or awkward. In fact, they can be quite fun if you know what you’re doing...

The Well Set Table

When most people think of a formal dinner party, an image of men dressed in stuffy tuxedos, stiff butlers with sour looks on their faces, and miserable guests who would rather be anywhere else often come to mind. But that’s not the reality.

Formal dinner parties don’t have to be intimidating or awkward. In fact, they can be quite fun if you know what you’re doing. Special occasions, like holidays and elegant dinner parties, require a more formal table than the traditional five-piece place setting. Luckily, the modern art of table setting is quite simple once you understand a few basics.

Once you realize table setting is based on logic, things become less intimidating. For example, you begin eating a meal by using the flatware at the outside left and right, and then work toward the plate as the meal proceeds. Stemware is set above and to the right of the dinner plate; bread-and-butter plate sit above the plate and to the left.

Flatware should align with the bottom rim of the charger, a large plate, which will be removed after everyone spreads his napkin on his lap. The water glass stands above the dinner knife, white wine to its right, and red wine top center.

Soup is served in a heated soup dish, atop a dinner plate, and eaten with the soup spoon, at outer right. When every guest has finished and laid his spoon, bowl up, across the upper right hand corner of the plate, the plate, bowl, and spoon will be removed. The bread-and-butter plate and butter knife remain.

A midsize plate arrives bearing the fish course. Use the short, broad fork at outer left and the fish knife at outer right. When they have finished this, or any other, course, guests should place their silverware diagonally across the plate — handles at 4:20 and knife blade facing in.

Course two has been cleared, leaving the table set for the main course. The large dinner plate may be brought in either bearing a portion of food or empty, if food is to be served at the table. In either case, the plate should be preheated unless the main course is served cold. Eat with the dinner fork and knife.

We hope you enjoy this table setting primer and good luck to setting your next formal dinner party.

Cheers & Bon Appetit,
Chef Monique


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

The Elegance of Being Well Mannered

Here at Crave Culinary Arts we have enjoyed many elegant, refined dinner guests with perfect manners and then we have had to endure some real doozies. We won’t name names but we had one, less than gentleman rest his well polished Corinthian leather loafers on our supremely set table...

The Elegance of Being Well Mannered

Here at Crave Culinary Arts we have enjoyed many elegant, refined dinner guests with perfect manners and then we have had to endure some real doozies. We won’t name names but we had one, less than gentleman rest his well polished Corinthian leather loafers on our supremely set table, there was the toe nail picker, the woman who chose to eat most of a five course dinner with her fingers, and the man that retired from the dining table only to return in his boxer shorts. The list goes on but you get the point.

These manners detract from the behind the scenes effort our staff goes to in order to ensure a sublime culinary experience with a meticulously set table, impeccably dressed service staff and a five star meal diligently prepared to please the palate.

Social decorum in the United States has been waning for some time and the long ago days of elegant table manners seemingly fades into the distance. Today, we’re offering the ten most basic table manners that should be used in most settings; a fine dinner on the town, a notable social gathering and even in your own home.



TOP TEN TABLE MANNERS: (copyright of The Emily Post Institute) emilypost.com

1. Chew with your mouth closed.
2. Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate. Wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table.
3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or stab your food.
4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
5. Remember to use your napkin.
6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (Choking is clearly an exception.)
7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses, and always has been, even in Emily’s day).
9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
10. Take part in the dinner conversation.

When you choose propriety in social settings you elevate yourself from low standards to elegance in the stars! Later we’ll focus on the “well set table”. In the meantime, cheers to choosing refinement and good manners.

Cheers & Bon Appetit,
Chef Monique


Crave Culinary Arts is a Private Chef and Catering Boutique servicing Roslyn, Cle Elum, Ronald, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, King County and other Washington counties. Our private chef service and event catering provides on-site cooking for events ranging from intimate hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings and small dinner parties to thematic social events, noteworthy celebrations and more.

Contact

(206) 353-3772

chefmonique@craveculinaryarts.com

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