Horror over dinner party takeaways
Kiwi foodies have reacted with horror to the idea that it is OK to serve takeaways at a dinner party, despite the practice being advocated by a prominent British etiquette guide.
The new edition of Debrett's Guide to Entertaining Etiquette says it is acceptable to dish up takeaway at a dinner party - provided it is served on china and the plates have been heated.
Debrett's has dispensed etiquette advice for the British upper classes since 1769, and is regarded as the foremost judge of social conduct in the United Kingdom.
However, its new advice did not go down well with Wellington foodies.
Restaurateur Lorenzo Bresolin said: "I think that's hilarious . . . you can't do that," he said.
Takeaways could be a source of inspiration and new ideas, but to pretend it was your cooking was beyond the pale, he said.
"If you've invited people over, and you're making them a meal, you can't dial it in . . . you can't brag like you've made the food and it's your work."
Yellow Brick Road fish supply owner and City Market co-founder Rachel Taulelei said it might be all right to serve takeaways from a restaurant as long as you were honest about it.
"There's takeout and there's takeout," she said. "There's a difference between getting fish and chips and popping into Martin Bosley's and getting fish and chips from there."
If she got a takeaway, she would never say she had made it, she said.
"But I often pass off other people's baking as my own."
Rasa Indian Restaurant owner Silas Madasamy, who sells takeaways from his Cuba St premises, said it would be acceptable if the host was honest.
"It's wrong if it's not made by the person [and they say it is]," he said. "It's wrong to do that and I wouldn't accept it."
Jo Bryant, an etiquette adviser at Debrett's, told the Sunday Telegraph a good dinner party did not need to stick to an "outmoded" code of conduct.
"Even if you are forced to order a takeaway, you can still be a good host by making an occasion of it, allowing your guest to choose the cuisine and by digging out your own chopsticks," she said.
"Good entertaining etiquette isn't about adhering to an outmoded code of conduct, it's about doing your utmost to ensure your guests are well looked after and enjoying themselves."
Debrett's also says it is acceptable to eat some foods, such as pizza, with your fingers, especially in informal settings.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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