The sweet smell of gâteau fondant au chocolat lingered in the hallways of Mary Phelan Catholic School following a special visit from Susanne Golds, Chef à l’école.
Through Chef à l’école, Golds visits schools assisting French teachers in motivating their students into having fun with French, embodying the French’s a ‘Joie de vivre’ and their love for good food, mixing these two ingredients together in the classroom.
“There is music playing so it brings an atmosphere of fun engagement, we hit up all of the cultural elements and then the teachers are also pretty impressed to see students who usually are not as eager to participate just going along with everyone else so it’s a great way to get ethe whole crowd involved,’ said Golds.
During the special visit, Golds walks students through how to make a traditional French treat while instructing in French to a curated French soundtrack. The result – a fun, and educational visit with a delicious reward at the end!
“I am really happy to be back in the school where the kids are the chefs, So the students come in, they wear an apron, they work as groups and prepare a French inspired recipe and at the end they get to eat what they make,” she said. “Then I tie it in with a cultural story of Canada and the history of the French and giving them a little bit of background as well.”
“It allows the kids to see that they can use French in their everyday. They get to see it being used and get to dance and have fun and have all of the excitement,” added Sarah Barbosa, Mary Phelan CS French teacher.
Barbosa makes it a priority to bring Chef à l’école into her school each and every year.
“It has become a visit that the student’s look forward to.”
A sentiment echoed by the day’s bakers.
“Today was awesome, I had so much fun,” said Emily, grade 8 student. “Not only did I get to go over my French vocabulary, but I had so much fun with the energy! It was so lively with the music and everyone got a turn, it was really fun.”
“We just had a lot of fun as a class,” added her classmate, Lily.
While Chef à l’école is all booked up for the 2022-2023 school year, Golds encourages anyone interested in bringing the program to their school to visit www.chefalecole.ca to secure a place for next year.