Table manners and dining etiquette - tips from chef Pillai


Over the year's Malayalis' eating habits and food culture underwent major transformations. Dining out have become more common and frequent. Banquets and feasts started including non-Kerala cuisine in their menus. Fine dining became more accessible to the common folks. A surge in the number of non-resident Keralites also contributed to the cultural transformation. Foreign-returnees brought global cuisine and universal food etiquette to the Kerala population. In this scenario, it is important to know, understand and practice some decent food habits and table etiquette.

Here is celebrity Chef Suresh Pillai giving some tips on table and eating manners, what to do and what to avoid while dining with others:

While using a toothpick

When you do certain things carelessly at the dinner table, it can annoy others. While eating meat at restaurants, the meat might get stuck between your teeth. You can use a toothpick but do it discreetly. Cover your toothpick with tissue paper. You can also use the washroom for that. Similarly, throwing toothpicks on the table is bad manners. Always wrap it in tissue paper on the table. You are also making things easier for those who clean the table.

Representative image: Shutterstock/frantic00

Don’t make noise while washing your mouth

Many people have this habit of loudly gargling their mouths while rinsing their hands. It is impolite to make loud noises when someone is standing next to you.

Wash carefully

Malayalees have this habit of washing their hands and splashing water around them, even when there are people near them. That’s clearly rude behaviour.

Representative image: Shutterstock/Maridav

Practice using a fork and spoon at home

How do you eat when you go to a restaurant? You are probably used to eating with your hands at home. But it is a different story when you go to a party. There, nine out of ten people will be using a spoon and fork. You might feel uncomfortable when you eat there with your hands. Even others might find it annoying. To avoid this, try practising occasionally at home with a spoon and fork. It will be useful when you are served with continental dishes.

Representative image: Shutterstock/Minerva Studio

Don’t waste food

There will be countless dishes at many banquets. There will be a variety of flavours laid at the buffet table. You should carefully scan the menu and then select your dishes. There will be a variety of dishes for different palates. The chef's menu is usually planned as a full course meal. When there is a lot of food on the table, we should only pick the ones we like. Also, take only as much as you need and avoid wasting food.  

Representative image: Shutterstock/Olga Klochanko
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