SOCIAL READINESS & ETIQUETTE
Formal place settings may easily be pared down to a casual place setting.
Flatware is placed in the order in which it is going to be used; that is, the order of the courses being served.
When possible, serve food from the left side of a seated guest and clear the plate from the right side.
Beverages, however, are always served from the right side of the seated guest.
You may find some place settings where the seafood fork is placed in the bowl of the soup spoon. This is also correct.
Note: You may find that some place settings contain a teaspoon next to the soup spoon.
Flowers are a great table accent. There are just a few things to aware of:
Guest allergies should be taken into consideration.
Watch out for pollen as it can stain table cloths. In lilies, the pollen is found in the middle of the flower in an area called stamen (in male flowers) and carpel ( in female plants). The pollen has a yellow orange color which stains.
And speaking of lilies, be careful of heavily scent plants as their fragrances may detract from the smell and, therefore, taste of the food being served.
When eating in an American fashion, one cuts the food with the right hand while holding the fork with the left hand; then switches places. Place the knife on the plate and switch the fork to the right hand to eat.
When eating in a Continental or European fashion, one cuts the food with the right hand and uses the left hand to hold the fork while cutting and eating.
RESTING & FINISHED UTENSILS
Utensil position when you are taking a break from eating, but are not finished with your meal:
The fork and knife are place like an "X" on the plate, fork tines facing down.
Utensil position when you are finished eating:
The fork and knife should be placed together –parallel with the handles pointed towards five o’clock position on the plate.