Serving of Food with One Hand
This service technique is used only for platter service and
involves the so-called long grip. In the long grip, the utensils are held
in the right hand. Hold the spoon between the index and middle
fingers and the fork between the index finger and the thumb. The
curves of the spoon and fork should align. Gently slide the spoon
under the item to be served, so that it is held between the fork and
spoon. Remove your index finger, apply light pressure to the fork,
and lift.

Serving of Food with Both Hands
This technique is used when working at a side table or a
buffet. When serving with both hands, hold the spoon in your right
hand and the fork in your left hand. If the food is prepared in a
sauce, always scrape the bottom of the spoon with the fork, to
prevent drips and to keep the plate you are preparing clean and

Arranging Food on the Plates
To the uninitiated, it might seem very simple to arrange food
nicely on a plate. Actually, in a refined service, food is arranged
according to particular rules that are followed the world over. Meat is
always placed at the lower part of the plate. Sauces are served
separately in a sauce boat, or they are served to the left of the meat
or fish. When a dish is cooked in a sauce, such as a curry or stews,
the sauce is served over the meat. Compound, or flavored, butters,
such as d’hote or d’hotel butter or herb butter, are placed directly on
the meat. Side dishes are arranged to achieve color harmony. A
piece of cake or pie should be served with the point facing toward
the guest. Plates with a logo or other graphic decoration should be
arranged so that the decoration is placed in front of the guest. Plates
should never appear overloaded; the rims must always be free of
food and without drip smears. Hot food is always served on hot
plates; cold food, on cold plates.

Pouring Beverages
Hold glasses by the foot or stem only, to avoid fingerprints.
Glasses are always placed to the right of the guest with the right
hand. If the glass has a logo, it should face the guest. Beverages are
always poured from the right side of the guest. When serving heavy
red wines that have been decanted or are in a wine basket, hold the
glass, slightly slanted, on the table with left hand and slowly pour out
the wine with the right hand, so that the wine sediment is not

disturbed. A bottle of wine is first presented to the host. Then the
bottle is opened, and a small amount is poured out for the host. After
the host approves, the guests are served first and the host’s glass

Sequence of Clearing
When an aperitif has been served, the empty glasses are
cleared only after the wine is served. If a white wine is served with
the appetizer, the empty glasses are removed only after the red wine
has been poured. The red-wine glasses are cleared after the coffee
or after-dinner drinks are served. When guests are smoking, ash
trays are always changed before a new course is served. After the
guests have finished the main course, any platters or serving dishes
on the table are removed first. Then the dinner plates are cleared
along with the flatware. Finally, any smaller plates, bread plates, and
finger bowls are removed. Before dessert is served, the table is
totally cleared, except for flowers or other decorations.

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