French Table Serving Styles
A French serving style is not very common, but is seen at some exclusive upscale clubs and restaurants. The waiter typically has a fancy cart that carries different types of food for the guests to look over before they decide what they would like. Sometimes this is only done for appetizers or deserts, and sometimes it is done throughout the entire meal. At times they serve an 8 course meal this way.
The guest’s table is already neatly set with different plates and silverware when they arrive, so after they decide what they would like the waiter dishes up their food carefully and neatly from the cart. Sometimes the food is even cooked right in front of them.
The carts come in different varieties, some hold burners for the waiters (or cooks) to cook on, some carts have a large cutting board for its top (marble is popular) and some are made to keep things cold or warm. The carts typically are made of wood and have at least one shelf for storage. Wine carts are another option; they hold a variety of wine bottles and glasses.
Salad carts are becoming increasingly popular; it is like having a moving salad bar delivered to your table. The guests watch their salads be prepared right in front of them. The possibilities are endless.
In some restaurants the waiter holds the bowl for the quests to serve up themselves if they desire. Different condiments are also typically on their cart.
Many people enjoy a French style table service, because it allows them to see the food before they decide on their meal, they get the proportions they want and it is more entertaining. They also have the chance to have any additions made to their food as it is severed. The down fall to this style is that is hard to serve certain dishes this way, it is time consuming and expensive. You also need plenty of room in the dinning room for the ease of moving carts.
The French table serving style has been used since the 1800s, but has slowly changed over time. Back then the server placed different dishes on the table and everyone grabbed what they wanted and when it was gone it was gone. It wasn’t considered fancy or extravagant like it is today.