Les étudiants Français vont à Chicago

French students travel to Chicago


Emily Dirks

Sophomores: Imari Mary, Skylar Brinkman, Jennifer Justice, Kaitlynn Thompson, Erin Buskirk, Emily Dirks, Emma Zaknoun, and Destiny Harvel eat at Cyrano’s Kitchen

Kaitlyn Steinhiser, Feature Writer

On December 3rd, 2014, the members of French club went on a field trip to Chicago. On this field trip, they visited Water Tower Place, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen.

First, the French Club students ventured to Water Tower Mall to have the ultimate shopping experience on the magnificent mile. Water Tower Place includes stores such as Macy’s, Aeropostale, Coach, and several other stores.  Jordan Mann says that “going there first was a nice way to start the day.”

Then, they stopped to eat at Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen.  This restaurant has specialized in French cuisine since its opening in 2012. Its owner, Chef Didier Durand, was actually born and raised in Bergerac, France. After having several small cooking jobs in France, he moved to Chicago, fell in love with the city, and decided to open his own restaurant on Wells Street.  This restaurant was the perfect place for MCHS’s French students to dine because of the French atmosphere within Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen and the delicious French food.

Their first course was escargot.  Escargot is a traditional French dish that consists of garlic, parsley, lemon juice, shallots, butter, and snail. Snail is obviously not a popular shellfish to eat here in America, but it is quite popular in France. When she tried the odd dish, Emma Zaknoun first thought “it was pretty terrible, but not as bad as [she] thought, just slimy.”

After experiencing this exotic dish, they were served salad verde. This salad was filled with carrots, radishes, and several types of greens. It was also served with a vinaigrette dressing.  According to Abby Bildhauser, “the salad caused the flavors of France to dance across your tongue.”

They were then served their main course. The students were given the chance to choose between four dishes. Their options were crouque monsieur, rigatoni pasta, poulet with bowtie pasta, and quiche.

Crouque monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with cheese melted on top.  When asked about the sandwich, Heather Kizer said it was “like an American dish with a French twist.”

The rigatoni pasta was served with spinach and tomatoes on top along with red peppers.  The pasta was also covered in a light tomato sauce. Senior, Casey Neulieb, says that “the flavor makes up for the fact that there’s no meat. You know I love me some chicken.”

The poulet (or chicken) with bowtie pasta was exactly that. Skylar Brinkman thought it was, “It was really good, and there was a lot of chicken.” She later said that there “was not as much pasta as [she] expected.”

The popular French dish, quiche, was an open faced pastry filled with eggs, cheese, and leeks. Claire Werner says that “it was an experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

To finish off their meal, the French Club students were served crème brulee with chocolate mousse. In French, crème brulee literally means, “burnt cream.” It has a gelatinous consistency and tastes similar to vanilla custard. This delicious dessert is made of egg yolks, sugar, heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and chocolate mousse. Junior, Paige Cuma, said that the dish was “heaven served in a mug.”

Then, the students stopped by the Art Institute of Chicago to look at the French impressionist exhibit that they have there.  French students learn about French impressionism in French two, three, and four. Impressionism was a time when art was turning a new leaf in Europe, especially in France.  Artists who flourished during this time period include Van Gough, Monet, and Picasso.  When asked what her favorite piece of art was, Shelby Ford said it was “Water Lily Pond by Monet.”

All in all, the field trip was a very educational and fun experience for every French Club student that attended and, those who are going next year, are looking forward to it again.

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