Are you really a perfect host ? Do you receive… and be a guest ? In his book The art of mastering codes (Michel Lafon), Jérémy Como, the specialist of savoir-vivre à la française, shares his tips and tricks to shine in all circumstances.
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It is called Jeremy Como… but the pretenders to the title of Miss France call him “Mr. manners.” This is the man who leads the apprentices queens and beauty before the day of the election. The goal ? Give them all the codes to say goodbye to the wrong and odd, so that they are comfortable in all situations. Dinner socialite or between friends, a hot date, meeting the in-laws… The specialist good manners reveals many tricks in his book The art of mastering codes, chez Michel Lafon. Advice, without distinction of gender “aimed to anticipate the many situations in everyday life where we are frequently plunged into embarrassment, lack of own codes, customs, and manners”, he explains in his introduction. “Some consider these codes as obsolete, but it is these same people who will spite be caught short at a dinner party.” If you want to know how to taste an asparagus with class or offer perfectly of flowers, you are in the right place : we have selected for you 10 tips from his book to be the host or the guest.e perfect.e. We bet you made a few mistakes…
What to do to his towel ?
When leaving the table, you don’t fold the towel like at home, you ask “casually” to the left of the plate. If you spend the weekend with friends, you will be brought to you in be used several times : in this case, you can opt for a folding family.
How to manage an incident table with brio ?
- The glass of wine on the water : Do not throw yourself on the roll of Sopalin to mop up frantically. Do not make a bouillasse cloying by throwing the salt shaker on the wine (…) in Short, do not create hustle in vain. Start by presenting your excuses and most importantly, offer your help. If you receive, you’ll have everything planned ! On a service or on hand, a towel, identical to the others waiting his turn to hide the scene of the crime. Without history and while continuing your conversation, you will put on the tablecloth and redresserez the cover of your guest.
- Spoon sauce over the knees of the neighbor : Stay zen. Before any gesture of reparation, apologize profusely (…). Again, do not rush, towel used to go to rub the thighs, or the bust of your guest. Better pray the victim spend in the bathroom with the equipment that is needed. Has the victim to manage the cleaning of his garment, or offer an exchange for the evening. But be tactful. On the other hand, you’ll be intractable on the note at the dry cleaners… that you take on your load.
- An intruder in my plate : above all, do not push a scream worthy of a horror movie… Why make your host feel uncomfortable ? This kind of thing happens, even to top chefs. Skillfully, you cacherez the bug, or any other surprise non-edible, under the food. That you will let in on the pretext of having had eyes bigger than the belly !
How to taste some of the dishes with ease ?
- Asparagus : Only the fork is allowed, and the knife is only an instrument of relief, if, by chance, the asparagus does not yield to the sharp edge of the fork. In the family and in a friendly circle, you can use your fingers.
- Fish : You must use your knife, to fish or not to incise the animal all along the edge. Next step, you open and detach the threads that you will put on one side of your plate. Finally, you gently pull the skin at the time of the sample. When the fish is presented in a foil packet, then carefully open the paper to the hand and do not spill the contents on your plate ! Once the packet is complete, you the refermerez with your cutlery in the crushing slightly. If you find an edge, it happens to the best, trying to be as discreet as possible.
- Shellfish and crustaceans : One is supposed to detach the head from the body, then the legs, with his cutlery. Finally, it should be cut with a knife the ventral part and soft shell in order to extract the flesh. For the shrimps, it is advisable to eat them with your fingers. For the oysters, after having detached the meat using a small fork, please do not hesitate to drink the salt water if you like, but be careful… do it … gently, quickly and discreetly.
- Time fat : it is eaten with the fork. You cut a piece with the cutting edge of this last before you bring it to your mouth, and then you accompany it with bread.
- The salad : The salad does not get a cut ever with a knife. If the leaves are too big for a bite, elegant, fold and using a fork and a piece of bread.
- The cheese : In general, you should never cut the cheese out of his nose. They are cut perpendicular to the crust, and not at the same time. We do not propose more than five varieties of cheese, but you don’t you’ll only three types in order not to give the feeling that you’re hungry despite the efforts of your host, for you will have cooked the dinner of the century.
How to taste a coffee with class
This is the master of the house who serve the coffee. You show the cup empty to your guest who will grab it by its sub-cup of the left hand. The right will serve him enter the sugar he consumes. Not replacing the cup on the tray, the coffee table or the mantle of the fireplace until the sugar melts. Keep your cup in hand.
How to properly greet someone and introduce yourself ?
Shake hands with conviction, looking them in the eyes (neither too soft, nor too muscular). To be at the top, it is necessary to remove his glove in the winter, but this is not mandatory if you are in Montreal by less than 20 degrees. Always give your first name followed by last name. “Hello” is followed by “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or a first name (no last name !). The phone is your friend to give you “Sir” or “Madam”, you are not supposed to award you marks of consideration. The expressions “Enchanted” or “delighted” are prohibited ! They are the contraction of “I am enchanted to make your acquaintance”, and “I hope to have the pleasure to see you again” that you can use, on their part, without restriction.
How to give flowers without being evil-high ?
For a dinner socialite, the label wants you to never arrive with flowers in hand : if all the guests had the same idea, your host would be at the head of a flower workshop. The rule would be to deliver the flower an hour before the dinner with a word manuscript of its kind “We are delighted to have you back any time. Friendships.” More classy, to be delivered the next day, in the morning, with card : “Paul and I have spent a great evening and enjoyed your friends that we find charming. Very soon the house. Friendships.” If you still want to get flowery, opt for a potted plant that can be placed easily in a corner of the house until the end of the evening.
How to offer alcohol without going for a country bumpkin ?
Never aim the low-end for wine. At the time of the sample, a sour wine will be the art of you put as much in embarrassment as the recipient of the plonk.
Arrive on time
Read the invitations. “From” suggests that it is a cocktail reception and that you are not required to be on time. In contrast, the”20 hours” is a way to signify that it is a dinner. As a general rule, the label requires to arrive at a dinner party with fifteen minutes of delay on the agreed time. These are the minutes that allow the organizers of the evening to give her a last glance before the action.
Avoid the crisis at the time of the addition
If it is a dinner between friends, you will surely have the reflex to share the bill equally, without entering into the accounts of apothecaries. If you want to delight everybody, you’ll get up on the pretext you go to wash your hands and give your card to settle the entire. When we have lunch regularly in head-to-head with a friend, it is easier to invite in turn. In some situations, it is possible not to settle and to let his loved ones if we want to say thank you for a service rendered.
What to say… and not say
- We don’t say “excuse me”, they say “excuse me”
- We don’t say “We will eat”, we said “We’re going to lunch/We are going to dinner”
- We don’t say “I’m leaving to Los Angeles”, you said “I’m leaving for Los Angeles”
- We don’t say “I will bring you back your scarf”, we say “I will report your scarf”
- We don’t say “nothing”, one said “I beg you”
- We don’t say “We kiss each other”, one says “kiss”
- We don’t say “This afternoon”, we say “At noon”
- To banish : “Good appetite (we are not talking about digestion at the table) and “you wish” (you must not have noticed that you sneezed).
For more information :The art of mastering codes, Jérémy Como, Michel Lafon (€16 95)