Valrhona Matfer Bourgeat Chocolate Entremet Challenge was a Huge Success

On Friday 12th March, Jamie Houghton Pastry Sous Chef at Oxfordshire’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Glen Sharman (Sous Chef at Le Manoir) joined forces with The Chefs’ Forum to present a Continuing Professional Development masterclass which served to update and reinforce skills of professional chefs and chef lecturers.

Jamie Houghton has just been announced this week as President of the UK Pastry Team, which is a truly excellent achievement and will see him lead his team to the Coup du Monde de la Patisserie set to take place from Friday 24th to Saturday 25th September 2021.

The Valrhona Chocolate CPD event was kindly sponsored by Valrhona, in partnership with Mitchell & Cooper, the UK home of the fabulous Matfer Bourgeat pastry and chocolate equipment for the professional kitchen.

Benoit Blin, Chef Patissier at Le Manoir was delighted that Jamie and Glen were leading the session, he said

“It was with great confidence that I left the Valrhona chocolate masterclass delegates in the very capable hands of my two sous chefs, Jamie and Glen – They both carry bags of knowledge and are great teachers!

In what is still a difficult year for most of us, the participating chefs and chef lecturers really seemed to enjoy the session!”

Jamie and Glen took the delegates through a chocolate tasting to explore the unique profiles, flavour notes and variety of uses across a range of Valrhona chocolates. They then went on to develop a contemporary chocolate and raspberry entremet, using Valrhona’s Manjari chocolate and cake rings supplied by Matfer Bourgeat SHOP THE RANGE HERE!

This event was highly interactive, educational, inspirational and great fun.

Neil Rippington, Educational Director at The Chefs’ Forum hosted the event on Zoom.  Neil actually taught Jamie as a student at The Colchester Institute and was delighted to work with him on this.

He said

“Jamie was always an outstanding student and he has now become an excellent pastry chef and chocolatier, now heading-up the UK Pastry Team as President and working at one of the most iconic 2 Michelin-starred properties in the country.  It is a huge sense of satisfaction to follow the journey of these young chefs as they climb the ranks of their craft.  Jamie did a fantastic job of leading the session with Glen today, demonstrating the entremets and showing what to do with the leftovers to make Gluten Free desert options or afternoon tea.”

Jamie added

“It was great to see so many chef lecturers from various colleges and other chefs from leading kitchens all over the country.

I am overjoyed at being nominated as President of the UK Pastry Team and this event was a great way to celebrate the official announcement yesterday.”

With great presentations from Marie Gonnon, Brand Manager UK & Northern Europe Valrhona, Guillaume Perez, Area Sales Manager, UK, Ireland and Spain at Matfer Bourgeat and Kat Cooper, Director of Mitchell & Cooper, what better way to learn about market leading chocolate, pastry tools and equipment and network and learn new techniques from masters of their craft while lockdown measures are still in place?

The delegates comprised top UK pastry chefs and pastry chef lecturers. All produced a delicious chocolate and raspberry entremet, comprising a chocolate crumble, chocolate sponge, chocolate mousse, raspberry jelly and an imaginative chocolate collar.

The event showcased the fantastic benefits of partnerships between leading industry brands and what great learning opportunities can be developed when like-minded people get together to create something quite simple, executed very, very well indeed.

Mitchell & Cooper, home of Matfer Bourgeat in the UK extends a huge thank you to Marie Gonnon, Brand Manager UK and Europe, Valrhona and Guillaume Perez, UK Sales Manager, Matfer Bourgeat, for their fantastic support in developing and organising the event.

The Chefs’ Forum would also like to thank Jamie and Glen alongside the support of Benoit Blin and the staff at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. To align such talented pâtissiers with chocolate from single harvests of cocoa from the world’s best plantations, together with tools and equipment of the highest quality was, without doubt, a recipe for optimum success.

Delegates for this unique and interactive event received all the specialist ingredients and equipment required to fully participate in the event and produce a replica of Jamie and Glen’s masterpiece. This included:


Valrhona chocolate samples for the tutored tasting:

For the live cook along:

In addition to a bumper pack of Mitchell & Cooper goodies including:

Jamie will also be awarding a special prize to the winner of the best entremets of the day – Stay tuned for the stunning results to be showcased on our socials.

To see Jamie and Glen’s entremets recipe and have a go yourself, visit our recipe page here.