Meet the finalists of the Classic Fine Foods Christmas Entremet Contest 2016: Lyece Major, The Langham, London

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th October 2016

This year the five finalists of the annual Classic Fine Foods Christmas Entremet Contest 2016 were selected  via a professional rating from the judges and a webpage vote. We speak to finalist Lyece Major from The Langham, London.

This year the participant's overall score was based on two different ratings, 60% of the total was from a rating by the professional judging panel and 40% was based on a blind vote where readers were directed to a voting page and encouraged to pick their favourite entremet based on their image alone. The five with the most votes were then chosen to go through to the final. This year participants were asked to create a Christmas Entremet for 10 people weighing no less than 1.250kg. They were also asked to use at least one Valrhona chocolate, Capfruit fruit puree and one PCB item of their choice.

Over the next five days The Staff Canteen will be finding out more about each finalist, we caught up with contestant, Lyece Major to find out more about the inspiration behind his dish and how he’s feeling about the competition.

Full name: Lyece Major

Place of work: The Langham, London

Job title: Junior Sous Chef (Pastry) at The Langham, London

Why did you enter the competition:

I entered the competition to challenge myself. It was the first competition that I have taken part in at The Langham, London. I knew it would be a good opportunity to learn and a great experience. 

What is the inspiration behind your dish:

The inspiration is the sleigh, bringing the spirit of Christmas and happiness. 

Tell us a bit more about the dish itself and the elements of it:

The dish is a combination of Jivara and Gianduja, Kent mango compote, Kalamansi and Ivoire mousseline.


From the bottom up, the entremets is constructed with a crunchy base of praline feuilletine topped with a chocolate and kalamansi vinegar chiffon sponge with a thin but intense layer of 70% Guanja cremeux.

Surrounding this is a Jivara and Gianduja bavaroise with a fresh mango compote insert. This bottom section is coated with a Jivara and Gianduja glaze. Topping this is a light Kalamansi  and Ivoire mousseline sprayed in a white chocolate velvet cocoa butter.

For the decoration, it has been styled to look like Santa’s Sleigh laden with a mixture of ‘presents’ being pulled by some of Santa’s helpful reindeers!

Are you looking forward to the final:

Yes, it’s the culmination of all the hard training. 

What do you think will be the most challenging part of the day:

To remain focused and consistent. 

This year the final five will be invited to re-create their entremet in front of a live audience in the recently opened TheTasteLab by Classic Fine Foods. The panel of judges which includes Pastry Chef for TheTasteLab by Classic Fine Foods London, Denis Dramé MCA and Valrhona Pastry Chef UK, Luke Frost and last year’s winner Maxime Michelot, who joins the judging panel as President of the Christmas Entremet Contest 2016, will then select the winner based on taste and appearance.

The winner will fly to New York for a 2 day hands-on training course at L’Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn. The prize includes flight tickets to New York and accommodation for 4 nights.

>>> Read more about the Classic Fine Foods Competition here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th October 2016

Meet the finalists of the Classic Fine Foods Christmas Entremet Contest 2016: Lyece Major, The Langham, London