French students serve teachers and staff French cuisine in the auditorium foyer. THE AZTEC/VINCENT BAGABALDO
The French classes prepared meals and entertainment for Mark Keppel faculty, family, and former French students during their simulation of a French restaurant on February 7 during lunch. The restaurant’s theme was inspired by the Disney Pixar film, Ratatouille. In light of the theme, students performed the song “Le Festin” from the film and served ratatouille. The menu also consisted of an appetizer, turkey on a baguette, and desserts, crepes and macaroons. Each sitting seated approximately 50 people, and tickets were sold for $10 each.
Second, third, and fourth-year French students were assigned to different tasks, such as making and preparing meals, translating menu dishes, and taking customers’ orders. Sophomore Helene Nguyen, who traveled to France last summer with Madame Smith, notices the resemblance in atmosphere between the simulation and restaurants in France. “It’s definitely a lively atmosphere with waiters and waitresses bustling around,” Nguyen compares. “If we look at how a French restaurant ‘works’ in comparison to local restaurants, we can see these similarities.” To simulate the experience as detailed as possible, Nguyen said French classes decorated the tables with fairy lights and played live music.
The French restaurant simulation stopped three years ago. The revival of the event was “entirely student-driven” says French teacher Madame Smith. “[As a world language teacher, I believe it is] equally important [to teach language and culture],” says Madame Smith. The French restaurant served as a way for students to immerse themselves in French culture.
Sophomore Zina Tran says, “I think experiencing a different culture must’ve been enjoyable [for the teachers] because it’s not everyday that you eat ratatouille. In addition, instead of the teachers always doing everything, this time the students served the teachers.”