Fine Dining & etiquette training workshop
The Eastlake Male Youth Initiative was thrilled to host a Fine Dining & Etiquette Training Workshop on Saturday, January 14, 2023. In case you missed it, this workshop provided our EMYI students the opportunity to learn and practice formal dining skills and proper etiquette while sampling fine cuisine. The unfolding of events however, began long before students made it to the restaurant. Upon arrival at The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church at 9am, students received their EMYI white button down shirts and ties. Morehouse College student ambassadors were on hand to help with the process as they assisted their younger counterparts in the art of how to properly tie a tie. The camaraderie and brotherhood among the young men was keenly on display, as they demonstrated the importance of having older positive male role models around. Sometimes, it's the little things that matter most. After group photos were taken to commemorate the event, the group was off to Maggiano's Little Italy by chartered bus.
The fine dining and etiquette workshop was led by Ms. Carol Rey, founder of The Elite School of Etiquette. Rey stressed the importance of recognizing and adapting to the change in environment when entering into formal settings. Ms. Rey highlighted the difference between informal and formal settings, especially when food is involved. The students learned that it only takes 7 seconds for someone to look at you, and make a judgment based on your appearance and knowledge of proper etiquette. She further emphasized the difference between eating, which we do casually, and fine dining, which calls for stricter guidelines regarding behavior and ritual. Rey went on to say "When dining takes place, we are confined to our own space, and there are unspoken rules that we are expected to follow." Because it is uncommon for young African American men to have access to experiences that provide guidance on the "dos and don'ts" of etiquette and social graces, we cherish opportunities like these to teach and encourage.
Finally, students learned to differentiate between and properly use an array of dining utensils. After a lengthy training session, students were eager to put those table manners into practice.
"Being well dressed with proper etiquette, is another form of good manners."
- Rev. Kenneth G. Torrence