Expert teaches students dining etiquette

Rebecca Jordan

News Editor

Did you know that you have probably been eating incorrectly your entire life?

“There’s a street in Washington called Embassy Row, and think about every night what happens in all of those embassies at dinner. Think about all of the conversations that keep the world together and keep world peace,” said presenter John Mellon, aka “Dr. John Etiquette”, about the importance of proper etiquette.

Marison TopinioMarison Topinio | The Hudsonian

Mellon taught two workshops last week titled “Fine Dining Etiquette” to inform students about the proper ways to present themselves in a formal setting. He spoke first about the history of etiquette before diving into the proper place setting and which utensils to use for certain courses.

The main plate and utensils in the center are for the main course, the smaller plate and knife in the left hand corner are for appetizers or bread, the utensils placed above the dinner plate are for desert, and the stemware always sits to the right of the setting.

In addition to the proper setting, students learned how to place their silverware to signal to wait staff that they were finished with their meals, shake hands, hold out and push in a chair for another guest, and help someone put on his or her jacket.

“I thought it was interesting, and my nanna recommended it because she thought that etiquette skills for dining would be helpful,” said Danielle Sodergren, individual studies student.

Even in today’s world of informalities, Mellon still believes that etiquette is important to the average college student. “[Etiquette] brings an amount of civility to environments, and it really is important to make people feel comfortable,” he said.
There were refreshments available to students, and the names of all attendees were put into a drawing for free movie tickets. The college has a list on its website of the free workshops available to students on selected Mondays from 3 to 4 p.m. throughout the semester.

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