Q
What is the correct cutlery order for eating a 5 course meal?
A
As a general rule, cutlery use starts at the outer edge and moves in toward the plate. Exceptions include putting a butter knife on the bread plate and putting dessert cutlery above the plate but parallel to the table edge.

The order of the cutlery should mirror the order of the courses

Appetizer/soup on the outer edge
Salad using a salad fork
Fish course using a salad size or fish fork
Meat using full size fork and a sharper knife if the food requires
Dessert using utensils required by the food: don't serve ice cream with a fork


A lot will be determined by the nature of the course served. If there is no soup, don't put out a soup spoon. If there is a broth type soup use  an  oval soup spoon; if there is a cream soup use a  round bowl spoon.If you only have one type, use what you have.If you are not serving a separate fish course, don't clutter teh table with a fish fork.

Outside fine dining restaurants, not a lot of people have that many different kinds of cutlery. The key is to be practical. Use a dull knife for bread and butter but provide a sharp one if  there is meat to be cut. Use a smaller fork for salads and a larger one for entrees (by the way, I HATE the oversize dinner forks they give you in steak houses and which Christofle has sold in fine silver for years. I think those contribute to obesity by encouraging portion consumption... Sorry, rant over).

If it is served in a bowl, it probably needs a spoon; if it is served on a plate it probably needs a fork. Exceptions exist.

Offer clean, smaller utensils for dessert and a smaller spoon  for coffee.

If you are setting the table for 5 courses, please use cloth napkins even if you are using vinyl place mats.

The older hard copy cookbooks such as The Settlement Cookbook and Joy of Cooking have chapters on this sort of thing with diagrams

I don't know how chopstick etiquette works.

Lastly, what are you serving ,what time should I be there and may I bring a bottle of wine?

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