There is a place for civility and etiquette in our society– it just isn’t frequently taught. In the past, parents used to be responsible for teaching their children manners, and they frequently sent their children off to finishing school to teach them how to be civilized and appropriate at all times. Whether you’re at the dinner party of another or the best burger restaurant in NYC, table manners are important!

We’ve put together a simple guide that will help give you a crash course in table manners. There may be hope for you yet! Read on to find out more.

Eat or Talk, Never Both

The first rule of table manners is as follows; if you’re eating, don’t talk, and if you’re speaking, don’t eat. You can do one at a time, but never both– unless you want to be mistaken for a heathen. Chewing with your mouth open is also forbidden. Don’t do it!

Be Sure to Compliment the Host

If you are eating a home cooked meal, always compliment the host on the food. Even if it’s terrible. To decry the quality of the food you’re eating is horribly rude and will offend your host. If you’re out to eat and you dislike the food, discreetly return it or ask for another dish. Don’t make a scene. If you dislike something that is cooked for you at someone’s home, it’s more polite to say that you are allergic or have never enjoyed this food than to say something negative about it.

Don’t Slurp

The only place you should ever slurp your food is Japan! There it is considered customary and even good manners to slurp your noodles– it’s both a technique for eating it and a way to show that you are enjoying your meal. If your soup or food is too hot, it’s better to let it cool down or blow on it while eating than to slurp or look moronic eating too-hot food. Avoid it at all costs.

Cutlery Rules

Cutlery is used from the outside in and in accordance with courses. If your salad course is first, typically you will use the salad fork on the outside left to eat. When in doubt, start from the outside in… always!

Rip Your Bread

Rather than putting a piece of bread or roll into your face, rip it into smaller pieces and then eat. This is the correct way to eat bread, rolls, or any soft piece of flour-based food when you have company.

Fork in Left, Knife in Right

The Continental style of eating is fading fast, but it’s still the ultimate way to eat. The knife is held in the right hand and used to cut, while the left holds the fork. The fork is used for eating and the knife is always ready to help fold, help food onto the fork, or butter something. The other way is considered more American (but less polite), where you constantly pick up the knife to cut, switch the fork to the left, put the knife down, and then pick up the fork again in the right. It’s a clumsy dance that will have more sophisticated individuals looking down their nose at you.

There’s a Special Way of Eating Soup

Move your spoon away from you while eating soup, never toward you. This way is actually brilliant— you’ll never spill soup onto yourself again.

With all that said–You’re eating at Jackson Hole…so it’s okay to break SOME rules! 🙂