Eat Fine Every Time: A Lesson in Fine Dining

Written by Chahat Goenka, Master in Global Luxury Goods & Services Management (MGLuxM’17) student. SP Jain School of Global Management – Class of 2018.

fine dining
noun [U] UK /ˌfaɪn ˈdaɪ.nɪŋ/ US /ˌfaɪn ˈdaɪ.nɪŋ/
the action or practice of eating well; the action or practice of dining in a formal setting where high quality or gourmet food is served; frequently attributive.

Etiquette is the science of living. Gone are the days where etiquette was the code that could not be imparted in terms of education. Endorsing the vitality of socially and ethically adept graduates, SP Jain’s MGLuxM students indulged in a workshop on Personal and Dining Etiquette conducted by the renowned celebrity stylist and image consultant, Mansi Kapadia.

Etiquette in terms of personal style, business etiquette, corporate etiquette, email etiquette, corporate dressing and table manners was taught to the students with great attention to detail.

This is where I learnt some of the basic lessons in fine-dining, a vital part of the luxury industry. Good etiquettes can mark the difference between success and failure in many aspects of life. It plays  a crucial role in the corporate scenario, particularly in the luxury space, where the poise and grace will enable one to gain a competitive edge over the other. It enables professionals to amplify their efficiency and foster meaningful corporate relationships, and widen doors and paths that technical knowledge cannot. Civility and courteousness are the pillars of good etiquette and should be portrayed while dining, dressing and in corporate scenarios.

Follow these guidelines the next time you fine-dine with your colleagues or bosses!

Dress suitably


The dress code must be adhering to the venue, invite, season and place. A reasonable dress code must always be polished and smart. A dressier version of casual, business casuals or even formals pertaining to the agenda of the event or meeting can be adorned.

Punctuality


The etiquette of being on time is indispensable. Arriving at the venue on time is considered an important etiquette while dining with professionals.

Recognise your cutlery correctly


Broadly speaking, table forks used for your main course are different from your salad and dessert forks. Spoons too, vary in size, shape and usage. Soup-spoons are the broadest amongst all spoons, while dessert spoons are smaller in length and width.
Wine glasses are classified according to the circumference of their rim. Sparkling wines and champagne are served in flute glasses with the narrowest circumference and longest height to allow the bubbles to stay in.

Appropriate use of napkins


Napkins should be unfolded and kept neatly on the lap in a fine-dining set-up. Dabbing the mouth, and not wiping it, is a table mannerism to be followed always.

Usage of cutlery


• Always use the fork with your recessive hand to pick the food up while eating, and the knife in the dominant hand to cut the food down.
• Turn your fork upward so as the tines are facing your mouth and take the bite.
• Hold your chopsticks on the ring finger and between the thumb and index finger, rested on the middle finger to grasp the food bite. They must be used correctly to avoid creating a mess.
• Always hold your drink with your left hand, to keep your right hand to eat or for a handshake.

While Dining


• In social and corporate groups, always pass the dish to the right after taking your serving.
• Wait for everyone to be served and only then begin eating. This is a hint of courtesy and respect offered at the table.
• While you are dining, concentrate just on the dining. Checking your phone, touching-up your makeup and talking while eating are strict no-nos.
• Bring your food to your mouth, and not your mouth to the food, to maintain an erect posture while dining handsomely.
• Always appreciate and be gracious of the food, irrespective of your preference.

Post Dining


To convey the completion of your meal, rest your cutlery downwards diagonally across each other in a 4:20 position (American Style), or simple lay them turned down adjoining one another in the same 4:20 position (Continental Style).
About the Author: Chahat Goenka (MGLuxM’17)

Chahat Goenka is a MGLuxM (2017) Student with SP Jain School of Global Management. She comes from a Chartered Accountancy background and has had a flair for luxury since inception. Her ardour for writing began in her schooldays. Chahat’s hobbies include dancing and painting and she has received accolades for them all throughout her learning life and has also bagged national level gold medals for two of her art works.

You can get in touch with Chahat at – chahatgoenka95@gmail.com

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