In western cultures when we are seated at the dining table, particularly for more formal celebrations, there may appear to be a labyrinth of eating utensils lying before us and our eyes start to glaze over. But once we understand both how to set a proper table and understand the reasons behind the seeming "silverware madness", we can present an impressive display and one that will put our guests at ease.
And as a guest, how a table is set shouldn't leave us baffled even before the first course is served. Here's a tip - think of the table place setting as a roadmap to the incredible Saladmaster food courses that are about to come. We begin with the outer utensils and work our way toward our plate. So, for instance, if a salad is the first course, the salad fork is placed outside the dinner fork so that's where we would begin. Or if soup is being served as the first course, the soup spoon is placed outside the knive(s) which will be used later in the meal. Any utensils that will not be required for the meal should not be placed in the table setting. It's that simple, start on the outside and work our way in!
On to the actual placemat: Forks are placed on the left of the plate and knives and spoons are placed on the right side of the plate. The knife's cutting edge is placed toward the plate. The only exception to this rule is if a small cocktail fork is required in which case it is placed on the outermost right hand side of the plate.
If dessert is to be served, the silverware will be placed above the plate with the fork handle to the left and the spoon or knife handle to the right (the cutting edge of the knife will be facing down toward the plate). It is proper to bring out the dessert silverware with the dessert.
Napkins go to the left of the forks or on the plate.
When you are serving bread on a butter plate, the plate is placed above the forks to the left of the main plate. The butter knife is placed on the plate with the handle to the right with the cutting edge face down.
The wine glass is placed over and to the right of the spoons and knives with the water glass slightly above and to the left of the wine glass.
So now when our delectable multi-course meal is being served the only question at the table will be, "How did you prepare this fabulous meal?" And we, of course, will have the simple answer to that as well - "I cooked it in Saladmaster!"