food etiquette

May 29th, 2008 by chivrypdx Leave a reply »

So I am talking to this fellow who I had recently met dining at the restaurant I tend bar at, and he mentions that the liner on the shepherd’s pie intimidated him a little bit.  The shepherd’s pie is served in a crock, or heavy duty bowl, and placed on a dinner plate.  To prevent the crock from slipping around we place a folded white cotton napkin on the plate and the crock rests upon that.

This fellow said the white napkin made him very aware of any spills he committed.  He felt self-conscious.

This fascinated me because, when Adam, the chef/owner, brings food out to pre-shift line up for us to taste, we attack it with fingers, forks and anything handy.  When I am eating with restaurant friends, we eat with our hands as well as the cutlery.  Don’t get me wrong, I know which fork is for dessert and which is for the shellfish, but often times choose not to abide by social eating norms.  I didn’t grow up this way, in fact, my mother taught me and my little brother to eat bannanas with a fork and knife.

I guess it is the appreciation of food that matters: your intimacy to the food.  And maybe it’s the devil-may-care cultural attitude that one gets after working in the food industry for a long time.

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