Etiquette Tuesday: Compliments of the Chef

[ 1 ] February 22, 2011 |

Reality TV should be apart of the curriculum of what not to do in dining etiquette situations.  Besides the hostile screaming matches and occasional table flipping (cc Real Housewives of New Jersey), there are even those instances where everyone is completely calm and they still manage to show that money cannot buy class.  This week’s Etiquette Tip comes courtesy the viewing pleasures of Basketball Wives.  On this week’s episode, the wives had the opportunity to dine at the world’s oldest restaurant, Botin, while on vacation in Madrid, Spain.  As a compliment to the ladies, the chef sent over a whole pig which appeared to be roasted and cooked to perfection for the ladies.  Now I totally understand that some people do not do the pork thing and would have been totally grossed out, but my next question would be “Then why did you go to a restaurant that specializes in succulent lamb and pork?”  Not only does this restaurant specialize in it, it is world renowned for its attention to the other white meat and lamb cuts.

The problem is not really with why or how the ladies felt about the pig, it’s how they reacted to the pig once the chef brought it out.  They put a napkin over the pork.  How rude?!  This would be totally acceptable had this been a group of people not used to sitting across from people that totally make them sick…so you’re telling you could not ignore a dead pig on the table when you sit across from people that do even more dispicable things then this helpless piglet (at this point) or the fact that your friend is smoking a cigerette while food is on the table (Yes, Tami who seemed the most disgusted of all went to smoke a cigerette at the end of the table while gawking at the pig…what an oximoron…)??

Whether you are a foodie or not, you should know that chef’s take their jobs seriously and just the way you do not want someone to place a towel over your shoe’s, makeup or any other business venture you pursue, you should show the same respect.  Simply asking the chef to move the pig to another table so that you guys could have more room at the table or thanking him and stating that no one eats pork would have been the right approach.  Placing a napkin over a dish that someone has specifically taken the time to prepare for you is an absolute insult.  I will be visiting Madrid in the near future and unfortunately for me, I am 99% sure the chef will not send out anything but a glass of water as compliments to my party for dining at Botin.  If he did, however, I can assure you that me or my guest would not even consider using our napkins as a way to blanket any of his creations no matter the amount of disdain we could have towards it.  It’s a gift and at the end of the day, it-is-the-thought-that-counts.

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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