Knife in Right Hand, Fork in Left, Ready to Eat
By: Lexxi Knoblock
Canalside Chronicles Staff
Have you ever been out to dinner at a fine restaurant, confused by all the different types of forks and spoons? Like hundreds of others, you’re not alone.
In today’s generation, food etiquette has been thrown out the window. The College at Brockport’s most recent Etiquette Dinner, community members received tips in etiquette 101. Brockport has been doing this event for the past 26 years.
This years Etiquette Dinner was held at Cooper Hall. Chef Richard Reynolds, who works for Brockport, traded in his chef’s hat for his teacher’s hat. The first thing Reynolds made clear was that there should be no personal items on the table and elbows off.
“Sometimes you don’t know what to do with yourself, you know? The food, and the silverware — It can be nerve wracking,” Reynolds said. “What’s also nerve wracking is preparing yourself on how to act for business dinners, interviews, banquettes and other formal events.”
Before dinner was served, Reynolds explained what to do before walking into the dining room. There will always be a check-in table for formal events, where people are supposed to pick up their name tags. Now that’s obvious. What wasn’t as obvious, was knowing that the name tag goes on the right side of the chest. This is because when someone shakes your hand, their eyes follow from the hands, to the name tag and then to the eyes.
In order to lighten the tense atmosphere, Reynolds talked about the kind of foods you should avoid.
“You don’t want to get ribs on a business meeting, having barbecue sauce on your face while chatting with your boss,” Reynolds said.
After breaking the ice, Reynolds dove into the meat of the presentation, showing the crowd how to use silverware properly. A helpful tip that can be used in any social setting is to work your way outside to inside. The soup spoon and salad fork will be on the outside of the left and right. Once he explained that, the tomato soup and salad were served.
After soup and salad came a lemon sorbet to cleanse the taste buds. “A lot of people don’t know this but when you sip of a spoon it should be from the side,” said Reynolds. Once Reynolds said that, everyone in the room began changing the way they fed themselves.
The main course consisted of a chicken drum, mashed potatoes and artichoke. What
shocked everyone, was that artichoke is meant to be a finger food. One person who then began eating the artichoke with her hands was Emily Wilczewski. When asking Wilczewski why she attended the dinner, her face grew a smile. “Free food of course and I thought it would be a great experience,” said Wilczewski.
For any of these important events, there should always be a time span of RSVPing.
RSVP is French meaning “respond soon very please.” This event was helpful for learning what to do in a formal setting and can help socially too. Not only is it teaching college students how to be proper, but it’s also free food.