¨Do NOT talk with food in your mouth! This is very rude and distasteful to watch! Wait until you have swallowed the food in your mouth.
¨Always taste your food before seasoning it. Usually the hostess has gone to a lot of work making sure the food served is delicious to her standards. It is very rude to add salt and pepper before tasting the food.
¨Don’t blow on your food to cool it off. If it is too hot to eat, take the hint and wait until it cools.
¨Always scoop food, using the proper utensil, away from you.
¨Cut only enough food for the next mouthful (cut no more than two bites of food at a time). Eat in small bites and slowly.
¨Don’t make an issue if you don’t like something or can’t eat it – keep silence.
¨Break your bread into small bites and then butter it.
¨Even if you have dietary restrictions, it is inappropriate to request food other than that which is being served by the host at a private function. If you have serious dietary restrictions or allergies, let your host know in advance of the dinner.
¨Do not “play with” your food or utensils. Never wave or point silverware. Do not hold food on the fork or spoon while talking, nor wave your silverware in the air or point with it.
¨Try to pace your eating so that you don’t finish before others are halfway through. If you are a slow eater, try to speed up a bit on this occasion so you don’t hold everyone up. Never continue to eat long after others have stopped.
¨Once used, your utensils, including the handles, must not touch the table again. Always rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate or on the saucer of a bowl.