French Students Eating Their Way Through Culture


Avery Miller, Cougart Editor, Community Builder

Madame Kelly, Sahuaro’s very own French teacher, has started her annual culinary unit covering traditional French food and restaurant manners. Typically, in years past, the 2nd year students were lucky enough to take part in the most scrumptious unit. However this year Madame Kelly has expanded the culinary unit to the third year students as well, since it is the first year Sahuaro has offered a third year class.

Madame Kelly explains why she added this unit into her teaching plan, “In France we love to share the food that we prepare, we socialize that way. Sharing with your family, or your friends – we have a good time.”

At the end of the unit, second year students get the opportunity to create a restaurant, working in groups of four. The groups share the entrees they have prepared and eat in courses, applying the taught French table manners. Students who attend the restaurant must dress up in fancy attire and bring a small gift ( a candy, cookie, or simply a thank you note) to the members of the group who cooked to show their appreciation for all the hard work their classmates put together.

Of course the students have been enjoying the hands on unit, but have also been learning a lot about not only the culture but also how to cook French cuisine. “In order to fully understand a language, you must understand the culture,” Madame Kelly dishes.

In third year, French students take part in “le grand concours de desserts Francais” which is the equivalency of a French dessert bake off. Each week, on Mondays, while the unit lasts, students are asked to make a classic French dessert and bring it to the classroom.

Madame Kelly and some colleagues blind test the dishes and each week one student’s dessert is crowned as the best.  The least appetizing version of the dish gets eliminated. The big finale is coming up and Halley Hughes and Julian Thies are the 2 finalists. Some special guests will be called in to taste the final dish, including a chef!

“For the final cook-off, the students will have to make a traditional French wedding cake with a minimum of 50 cream puffs.” It should be spectacular!

Before you look past the opportunity to take French next year, remember that you are passing up a once in a lifetime chance to learn how to speak French as well as enjoying lots of delicious French food.