Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Service a la Francaise, a la Russe & a l'Anglaise, and Service American Style

With daily life as casual as it is today, it still helps to know the Forms Of Service you may encounter at a wedding, company function, family celebration, Christmas party, vacation, or maybe you will one day get an invitation to the White House!

The following are 4 Forms Of Service to be aware of and familiar with for formal occasions:

  1. Service a la Francaise: the server presents the arranged platter to the female guests first, from the left. After all the ladies have served themselves from the platter, the server moves to serve all the gentlemen also from the left, and they serve themselves from the platter. Service a la Francaise is considered to be the most formal of all services, and is customary at formal dinners in Europe and in America.
  2. Service a la Anglaise: the server presents the platter from the left to the guest and serves the guest. Ladies first, of course. Service a l'anglaise is used for banquets because the server controls the portions and can limit the portions served to the guest.
  3. Service a la Russe: The famous chef, Urban DuBois, popularized this service back in the 1860's. Originally, the chef decorated each dish on a fancy platter and a line of servers each with a platter in their arms up above their heads parade around the Dining Room table, showing the guests their creations, then return into the kitchen to carve the meat, fish, poultry, game or other dishes. Then, they return to the table to serve the dish to the guests, ladies first, of course. Today, this service is commonly used in upscale restaurants worldwide. Service a la Russe includes a small serving table, called a gueridon (pedestal table), equipped with a side burner, or rechaud (portable stove). The server rolls the gueridon to the table, cooks and carves the dish and serves the guests. Ladies first again, of course.
  4. Service American Style: The server places the food directly onto the plate of the guest either at the table, or in a buffet line. This service has the advantage of being fast and uncomplicated. It does not require professional service.

So, now you know! Pay attention the next time you are out and about and try to guess which Form Of Service you receive!