How to use knife and fork for French dishes?

The subtle style of French cuisine is partly reflected though the table etiquette in using knife and fork.


Some basic rules while enjoying French cuisine: The fork stays in the left hand and the knife is held by the right hand, dry foods are conveyed with fork, water food (soup, porridge …) are eaten with spoon. Knife is used for cutting meat, taking spices, absolutely do not use a knife to eat.

When eating meat, left hand holds a fork, right hand cuts meat with a knife. Cutting meat into thin slices without repeating. After using knife to cut meat, place it on the plate and let the blade edges inward. Now you can move the fork from left hand to right hand for more comfortable .

The knife and fork are used separately for each different dish. Note that tableware to have fish and meat dishes is completely different. Knife and fork used for fish dish is not as sharp as for meat because they only work with small pieces of fish. Using separately also helps to maintain the original taste of each dish.

In addition to the basic principles, there is a general rule to remember when using knives, spoons and forks on the table: Always start from the outside and work your way in, course by course.

From the starter

For a bowl of soup, use soup spoon in rightmost side. Use fork in the leftmost side for salad. After eating, place spoon or fork on the plate.

Main course

For main course: The fork stays in the left hand and the knife is held by the right hand.


Then turn back the hand


When cutting meat: use fork and knife leisurely, spontaneously with proper holding, not too tightly or use up energy.




The fork and spoon above your plate are for dessert


Step 1:  Left hand holds forks, right hand holds spoon


Step 2:  Use fork to place food on spoon

Once you begin the meal, your utensils should never touch the table even on the napkin. They should be placed neatly on your plate.

In between bites (“resting position”), the knife and fork are crossed in the center of the plate, fork tines pointed down. The “I am finished” position is the same as in the American style with one exception: the knife and fork are placed side by side on the right side of the plate at the 4 o’clock position, with the fork on the inside, but the tines are down (versus up), and the knife on the outside, blade in.


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