The results are in! The winners of the 2018 French Mousse-Off are seventh grader Tanvi Debnath of Stamford, eighth grader Maeve Baker of New Canaan and ninth grader Alex Almeida, also of New Canaan. Scoring for the annual culinary contest is based on taste and execution as well as overall presentation of the delicious dessert often associated with haute cuisine.
Students may choose to use the traditional chocolate recipe, or experiment with other flavors. Seventh grader Lola Triay prepared her version of the dessert with pumpkin and gingerbread in honor of the season. It was a hit with the judges.
Resilience, it turns out, is the most important ingredient.
“It took me two hours to make mine,” said eighth grader Annika Mannix of Wilton. “I messed it up and had to start all over again.”
“That’s what happened to me too,” agreed classmate Maeve Baker. “Mine looked terrible. I had to throw it out and try again.”
Maeve’s winning entry utilized both brown and white chocolate mousse, layered in a clear plastic cup for maximum visual effect.
“The Mousse-Off is a fun way to introduce the students to French culture and cuisine,” said Upper School World Language Teacher Christie Lundquist. “My goal is to make the French language come alive for them through the traditions, customs and foods of France.”
All Upper School French students participate in the activity, both as chefs and as judges. A rubric is used to objectively evaluate the anonymous entries, which are organized by grade. While only three winners earn Mousse-Off bragging rights for the year, everyone goes home with a smile, a full stomach and a newfound appreciation for French dessert making.