French Week provides cultural experience

Lacey Leonard tentatively tries escargot at the French Club cooking contest. After a taste, she said the snail was really good. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Lacey Leonard tentatively tries escargot at the French Club cooking contest. After a taste, she said the snail was really good.

A total of 5133 miles separate Cortez from Paris, yet still, French culture managed to find a way into Montezuma-Cortez High School this week.

Celebrating the school’s annual French Week, beginning Dec. 9 and running through Dec. 13, the M-CHS French club hosted a number of activities designed to celebrate French culture.

After hosting a Boules Tournament on Dec. 9 that allowed students to take part in a traditional French ballgame, the club hosted the always-popular “French Cook-off” on Dec. 10.

The cook-off, open to students and faculty alike, required aspiring chefs to produce a dish originating in a Francophone country.

Judged by English teacher Paul Koops and Spanish teacher Devon Pollack, each entrant’s dish was rated based on taste, complexity and creativity.

Several mouth-watering items including baked goods, salads, desserts and main-course meals were sampled by the judges and following a brief period of deliberation, a verdict was reached.

Placing third overall in the competition with a dessert dish known as “Cherry Clafoutis” was M-CHS freshman Lily Eddy.

“I enjoy cooking,” said Eddy. “Preparing my cherry dessert took time, but it was worth it.”

Finishing second was M-CHS freshman Samantha Bagge, whose crème brulee dish made it into the contest after her mother burned her original entry.

As tasty as the third- and second-place dishes were however, art teacher Deborah Harriman’s escargot dish stole the show, wowing judges with a mouth-watering combination of snails cooked in butter sauce.

Several other dishes were also impressive, including Sam Allsup’s breakfast crepes, which contained a delicious filling composed of bacon and eggs.

“I like foreign languages,” said freshman Sam Allsup, when asked why he entered the contest. “I’d already taken Spanish, so I decided to take French. I figured I would enter the contest.”

Although the cook-off served as the high point of French Week, the week’s events were far from over as the French club staged screenings of Les Miserables Dec. 10-12.

A wonderful event from start to finish, French Week provided a valuable cultural experience for students, while simultaneously offering an opportunity to toss some balls and sample some mouth-watering food.

Sam Bagge prepares crepes for the Montezuma-Cortez High School French Club cooking contest. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Sam Bagge prepares crepes for the Montezuma-Cortez High School French Club cooking contest.