The students arrived dressed in their “Sunday best.” Anticipation and let’s face it, abject fear of the Etiquette Guru, was written all over their faces. This was a courageous lot as the table next to the podium filled up quickly. I assured them that I don’t eat my young and they were just fine and ready to learn how to do business with the right “fork!” I shook hands with everyone on arrival and received the good, the bad and the ugly. On departure, there wasn’t one among them who didn’t give me a firm, confident handshake that was sure to impress future employers. Next order of business was demonstrating the differences between the American style of dining versus the Continental/European style of dining. They were all in agreement that in this global economy, Continental was the more elegant and efficient and they all decided to give it a try. After all, the American style of dining originated in France in the eighteenth century. The French, then decided to come up with a more efficient way of dining and it became fashionable to only use the Continental style. America is the premier instigator of efficiency and innovation and perhaps it is time that we applied that same efficiency to our dining style? Instead of calling it Continental style (remember both styles originated in France to begin with) perhaps we could call it “American Classical” style? Food for thought no doubt!
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