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Dining etiquette tips from Madison chef

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MADISON (WKOW) -- If you feel like your family has gotten in bad habits at the dinner table, a local chef is here to help.

Chef Joel Olson with Hemmachef teaches classes on cooking and dining room etiquette. The classes are for all levels, children to adults. Click here to sign up.

Olson gave some etiquette tips to Wake Up Wisconsin viewers Tuesday morning:

Table Mis-setting.  Learn how to set the table.  From the left begin with the fork.  Bread plate above the fork.  Dinner plate.  Dessert spoon set above the dinner plate.  Then the table knife on the right side of the dinner plate blade facing the plate.  Then the spoon next to the knife with the glass above the knife and spoon.  The napkin can be placed anywhere as long as it is consistent.

The Napkin – it is not a mop.  The first thing you do when you sit down to eat is put your napkin on your lap.  This simply shows you are ready to dine.  Your napkin is also not meant to be your meal towel.  It is there to protect you and your clothes if you drop or spill food.  Don’t wipe your mouth with your napkin, but instead dab your lips especially before you drink.  When you get up from the table for any reason, neatly place your napkin next to your plate or perhaps on your chair.

Used Silverware.  Once you have used a piece of your silverware, it doesn’t go back on the table, it goes on your plate.   If you are still eating, place your knife and fork in an upside down “V” on your plate with the tips meeting at the top of the plate.  No ramps from the table to the plate.

The Finish Line.  When you are done eating your silverware should go from the bottom right of your plate to the top left.  Think of the international sign for “No…”.  This signals you are done and makes it easy for your plate to be picked up without the silverware falling off.

The Bread Plate.  Use your bread plate.  Butter bite-sized pieces only and eat them individually.  So do not butter a whole piece of bread or a bun and chomp on it.  What’s the hurry?  This is chance to play with your food by painting it with butter.

Here is a list of Chef Olson's Top 10 Dining Etiquette Fails.

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