THE RIGHT WAY TO UTENSIL
TWO STYLES OF DINING
In a nutshell, there are two formal styles of dining: Continental and American. Both are considered good form though I personally prefer the former due to its more universal appeal when travelling. (Should you, however, be in the habit of switching your fork from one hand to the other, fear not. Your lesson is coming.)
THE CONTINENTAL WAY
Continental dining keeps your knife and fork in either hand for the majority of the meal. Your fork never leaves your left hand and you eat off the back of the tines.
Once the meal has arrived, pick up your knife and fork simultaneously, keeping each in place with your index finger over the back of each utensil. Next, cut a bite-size piece of food and direct the fork to your mouth in a smooth motion, moving the food into your mouth from right to left – never straight in. If you so desire, feel free to pile your side dishes atop your meat, thereby creating a tasty bundle with each bite.
Should you wish to take a sip of water or head to the washroom, rest your utensils on either side of the plate pointing in (think 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock). This way they’ll be ready for action when you resume eating or upon your return.
A PROPER END
Once the meal is finished, utensils should be placed together in the 6 o’clock position with fork tines facing down. Do not leave more than an inch of overhang or you’ll run the risk of a flying fork, struck while being cleared away (not fun or funny).
So there you go, easy peasy, unless rice is involved (in which case I just pretend to be American!) More on that next time …