Table Cover

In the context of dining, the term “cover” has two main meanings. Traditionally, it refers to the practice of draping a large white napkin over the entire course and dishes, symbolizing that precautions have been taken to prevent guest poisoning.   In modern food service, a “cover” denotes the specific place setting for an individual’s […]

In the context of dining, the term “cover” has two main meanings. Traditionally, it refers to the practice of draping a large white napkin over the entire course and dishes, symbolizing that precautions have been taken to prevent guest poisoning.

 

In modern food service, a “cover” denotes the specific place setting for an individual’s meal, encompassing all the necessary tableware. It is essentially the arrangement for one person at the table, and the term can also indicate the number of guests to be accommodated. For instance, “100 covers” means the tables are set for 100 guests.

 

A cover can also represent the complete set of cutlery, crockery, glassware, and linen needed for a particular place setting based on the type of meal and service. The characteristics of a well-balanced cover include proper spacing of cutlery, keeping them at least an inch away from the table’s edge, placing knives and spoons on the right side, forks on the left, and ensuring the water glass is positioned at the tip of the large knife.

 

There are various types of covers, such as:

  1. A La Carte Cover: This type involves laying cutlery for each course just before it is served. The cover includes a fish plate at the center, a fish knife and fork on either side, a side knife, napkin on the fish plate, water and wine glasses at the tip of the fish knife, cruet set, and a low flower vase. Cutlery is added course by course based on the customer’s selections.
  2. Classic or Basic Lay Up: This approach is similar to A La Carte but may use a large decorative cover plate instead of a fish plate at the center. The fish knife and fork may be replaced with a joint knife and fork.
  3. Table D’Hote Cover: In this case, cutlery for the entire meal is laid out before the first course is served. Unnecessary cutlery is removed after the order is taken, and extra items are added as needed. The cover includes a napkin at the center, a side plate with a side knife, a fish fork on the left side of the side plate, a soup spoon on the extreme right of the napkin, a fish knife before the soup spoon, a joint knife between the fish knife and napkin, a wine glass at the tip of the knives, a water glass beside the wine glass, a sweet fork in front of the napkin with prongs towards the glasses, and a sweet spoon following with the bowl towards the cruet set and the handle towards the glasses.

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