To be clear…..there IS not OFFICIAL “Knife and Fork Degree”. The term itself is a tongue and cheek reference to those Masons who don’t know ritual, don’t really do much at lodge, but sure as heck show up for every lodge dinner. In other words, the only tools of Masonry they use are the knife and fork. You may have also heard the term “belly Mason”, although that one is more vague.
The Knife and fork Degree idea, as near as I can tell, comes from or at least can be summed up in the following poem:
The Knife and Fork Degree
by A. J. Disbrow
I don’t attend the meetings,
for I’ve not the time to spare.
But every time they have a feast,
you’ll surely find me there.
I cannot help with the degrees,
for I do not know the work.
But I can applaud the speaker,
and handle a knife and fork.
I’m so rusty in the ritual,
that it seems like Greek to me,
But practice has made me perfect,
in the Knife and Fork degree.
To be clear….it is NOT a good thing generally to be associated with this degree. However, it does appear, based on pins and other things I’ve seen, that some lodges have taken this jab at poor Masons and turn it into a fun event that makes fun of such things, which is probably what your pin references.