Students teach importance of dining etiquette -

Is the art of fine dining dead?

Cloth napkins and white tablecloths might look out of place in the home of square pizza and Sloppy Joes, but that's the point.

Students recently gave Columbia Urban League summer campers a taste of fine dining. Senior Kendall Neal says it's almost a lost art.

"A lot of people these days aren't use to that," said Neal. "They're eating in the car or in front of the television. So people rarely get a chance to practice this on a daily basis anymore."

"They're showing us how to eat with our salad forks, food forks, how to dispose of our food after we're done," said camper Cedric Cook. "Basically just to eat better. So it's not as messy.

Cook is convinced the lessons will up his game at family dinners.

But looking civilized at Thanksgiving is only part of the mission of the class. The big focus is jobs.

The lunch lesson is just a part of a three-day class focused on getting kids ready for the job market.

"Proper ways to interview, proper ways to dress, proper ways to eat," said Devon McQuillar. "That will get us prepared for the workforce."

"These days a lot of interviews are informal," said Neal. "They'll take you to lunch just to get to know you, and a lot of what they're doing is seeing if you do have manners."

McQuillar has taken the class before, but he enjoys a refresher course and a big lunch.

"A good meal, a healthy meal too," he said. "Baked chicken, not fried!"

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