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Maybritt and Ruslan make the first Belgian plant-based dumplings.



coaching, production place, product development

“The first belgian vegan dumplings”

Originally, Maybritt & Ruslan wanted to invent the newest student snack. However, typical student food such as pizza, pita and french fries was irreplaceable, but now they make the very first Belgian dumplings. The recipe of their delicious plant-based dumplings is based on Ruslan’s Russian roots and is accessible for everyone. The dumplings are vegan and contain fully natural ingredients. No fake meat products included, because no one enjoys eating "fake" products. Proef provided Davai's first production site, the knowledge to develop a product and a critical voice they occasionally needed.


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Sander makes a range of pure non-alcoholic lemonade syrups.


coaching, production place, production development

“PURE artisan lemonade syrups”

Sander Vloeberghs is the brain behind the PURE brand. PURE is a range of artisanal lemonade syrups and is not only a delicious non-alcoholic beverage, it is also a better alternative to today's soft drinks. Despite Sanders' training at the hotel school, he felt that he needed a network and extra product development knowledge to launch his product. He found that network and extra knowledge to make the PURE lemonades at the Proef platform.

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Jules is developing a new low alcoholic aperitif (more info soon).


coaching, taste engineering, product development

“From Mister Y. Gin to Mister Midi-Apéritifs”

Jules Delaere got a head start with the Mister Y. Gin brand. However, his creative hunger wasn’t satisfied with Mister Y., so he started looking for a new challenge: Midi-Apéritifs. A flavoured wine with citrus and floral notes with a slightly bitter taste (more info soon). This time, Jules wanted to take matters in his own hand for the entire process, from development to production to sales. Proef offered him the opportunity to develop his own aperitif including a production site and the knowledge of our product developer.


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Baking gluten and lactose free till his heart’s content.


production place

“Innovative baker and PASTRY CHEF”

Peter Stevens is the pastry chef and baker at Proef. He’s in the test kitchen three days a week. He owns several labels among which Beccaria and Poem-du-chocolat. His story? Peter produces artisanal gluten-free and lactose-free biscuits, cakes, chocolate and pies without any difference in taste. A real challenge, but innovation is one of the most important core values for Peter. And for Proef! Peter sees the foodlab as an extension of his knowledge: the perfect cross-fertilization of science, technology and creativity.




Producing a healthy non-alcoholic fermented kombucha tea.


coaching, production site

“FERM [bold & brave] kombucha”

Wouter was looking for a healthy alternative to alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. He got inspired during his journey in the States. Kombucha turned out to be very popular in America and he thought this could also be the case in Belgium. That is how FERM was created: an artisan fermented lemonade. To ensure his product entered the market as stable as possible, Wouter contacted Proef. As a taste engineer, Maxime contributed to the development of the FERM lemonades. In addition, Wouter learned everything about fermentation and kombucha at Proef. Ensuring that a product can grow in an easily accessible way is one of the strongest points of the foodlab and is therefore perfect for every starter.




Producing Pa’lais vegan spreads that are better than any cheese.

coaching, product development, taste engineering


“Pas de lait Pa’lais”


Laurent Jadot originally had a career in television and marketing. So who would have thought that he was going to invent entirely new vegan spreads? As a vegan, Laurent wanted to contribute to the process to stop animal suffering and that is why he wanted to create a tasty alternative to cheese spreads. The vegan Pa’lais spreads are 100% natural, artisanal and locally produced. There are four different types, but they are all made with freshly grounded organic cashews and almonds fermented according to traditional cheese making methods. Together with Maxime, Laurent came up with four flavours and four different colours for Pa’lais. So they got to work with different herbs and ingredients until they found the perfect combos. Pa’lais is a fine example of product development and innovative thinking.


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Jeroen makes the most delicious white pudding with unique flavour combinations.


coaching, production place, product development


“White Pudding King Monsieur Boudin”


After doubting for a long time , Monsieur Boudin, or Jeroen Tavernier, took the plunge in 2016. As his label might suggest, Jeroen makes artisan white pudding with unique flavour combinations and Brasvar. Real quality meat without any preservatives and sustainably grown. Together with Proef he searched for the right flavour combinations and as Jeroen himself mentions on his website, the white pudding is a co-creation with our incubator. He was one of the first food innovators who came to Proef.

Jeroen’s white pudding is now produced at the nature butcher shop Dobbelaere and are sold in various Delhaizes in Deinze, Ghent and Merelbeke. They are also available at the Ghent Lousbergmarkt and in the Akker & Ambacht neighbourhood and city garden shop.


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They make non-alcoholic food pairing drinks with unique tastes.


coaching, product development, taste engineering

"The unique family story of the Renard duo"

Magali Renard and business partner Jessica Torres Hurtado based their Renard label on a unique family history. Magali's great-great-grandfather, Victor Renard, started a liqueur and lemonade company in Ghent in the 19th century, but wasted all his money on his ostentatious lifestyle. More than a century later, Magali saw an opportunity to revive her great-great-grandfather's business. And so she did, not with liqueurs or lemonades but with non-alcoholic food pairing drinks. The Renard drinks are a true taste sensation of local fresh herbs and different types of apples. For the development of the special flavours of Renard, Magali and Jessica approached Proef. They used the test kitchen and called on Maxime as a taste engineer. They also became part of the Proef network.





Making and mixing innovative cocktails.


taste engineering, recipe development, (scientific) techniques


“Cocktail FAMILY History and Future”

Jan Van Ongevalle became bartender after selling his fashion store in Knokke. After a big tour through Asia, Jan had found his passion as a bartender and found his way into the world of bartenders & mixologists. Jan passed on his passion for cocktails to his three children, which resulted in a flourishing cocktail bar in Knokke run by the whole family: The Pharmacy. In 2014 the family won the award for best cocktail bar in Belgium and World Class. Daughter Hannah won the Belgian final of Diageo World Class. Son Ran won the Bacardi Legacy Global Competition in 2017 and youngest daughter Noa is Ambassador at Bombay Sapphire. Talent is certainly something this family doesn’t lack. The family came to Proef to express their creativity and crazy ideas in our test kitchen. Proef offers them a platform with scientific knowledge, techniques and materials where their creativity takes shape. "In addition, Maxime and I are also very good friends," says Ran Van Ongevalle.




Ben works together with Dieter in BelRoy’s Bijou to serve you with delicious cocktails.

recipe development, taste engineering, (scientific) techniques

“Godfather of the Belgian cocktail scene”

This humble man is sometimes called the godfather of the cocktail scene. In a moment of his midlife crisis he decided to start distilling and came to be an amazing bartender, but he would not call himself a real bartender or a distiller. Obviously too modest, because Ben Belmans is one of the best bartenders in the country. Young bartenders and mixologists learn the tricks of the trade from him. In 2016, he opened the BelRoy’s Bijou spirits & cocktail bar in Antwerp together with renowned bartender Dieter Roy, where the duo passionately serve people with the best mixes. So, why would these experts still come to Proef? "Foodlab Proef proves that we can realise our crazy ideas," says Ben. They bring in the creativity and Proef provides a scientific basis. Furthermore, Maxime’s passion and motivation to discover new things and to innovate inspires others. In addition, he also has a complete holistic view on food.


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Experimenting and motivating the bar and gastronomic scene.


recipe development, taste engineering, testings, (scientific) techniques

“Dragon Yen's Cocktails”

Young and brash. Young sure, definitely not brash. Yen knows what he wants. He took over the restaurant Yi Chan in Brussels from his father, but added a cocktail bar to the kitchen. A modern Asian restaurant with a cocktail bar? Yen proved it is possible. Although he has more than enough expertise in the bar scene, Yen went to the food lab to learn and experiment, so he would be able to create and offer just that little extra. He had many questions and put them to the test in the lab, where he also found his answers. Maxime gave advice and assisted Yen with his experiments. In addition, Yen also used the equipment in the kitchen and enjoyed the creative atmosphere at Proef. Foodlab Proef is the place where the bar and gastronomy scene can grow in the story of innovation and can aim for the next level by experimenting and testing. "Foodlab Proef pushes the limits of the community to go to the next level."



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Making pure, simple and straightforward dishes for anyone who comes to his restaurant close to the sea.


fermentation techniques


"Willem Hiele’s Terroir"


Willem Hiele is committed to quality and feels at home close by the sea. He loves authenticity and purity in his dishes and hopes to make people happy in his restaurant in Koksijde. Pure, straightforward and simple, not always as easy as it seems. In Summer, Willem’s dishes come almost straight from the garden or the sea, in Winter he uses conservation techniques including fermentation. Willem and his team got to learn those fermentation techniques in Proef. Furthermore, they also learned how to make a fermentation process traceable. Chef Hiele and Proef also worked together on the Terroir project (in collaboration with Steven Desair from Eatmosphere). Aim of the project? Research on the past, present and future of the Flemish culture soil with a focus on our North Sea gold: our shrimps. In addition, every two months a typical Flemish product was put in the spotlight in order to promote the culinary Flemish identity and diversity. Willem Hiele about the strengths of Foodlab Proef: "The culinary world should be happy with people like Maxime, who are so passionate and motivated about discovering new things."



Innovative and no-waste cooking for visitors coming to his restaurant STORM.


no-waste cooking, recipe development, taste engineering, (scientific) techniques


“Innovative & no-waste STORM”


Michiel Rabaey, owner of the restaurant STORM in his home and sea town Ostend is a modest and friendly man. Yet, he doesn’t have to be modest as a North Sea Chef. He is grounded and has a lot of experience as a chef. His dishes come straight from the sea, literally and figuratively. He cooks with sea water, looks for spices in the dunes and serves fish dishes from the shell to the tail. Innovative and no-waste cooking is one of his many talents. He came to the foodlab to create a fermented fish sauce. Seven percent of fish is thrown away, but is actually still usable and edible. So, together with Maxime, Michiel went looking for a way to ferment fish remains and use them for a fish sauce.


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Making local products and dishes with modern influences for his restaurant Bon Bon.


taste engineering, (scientific) techniques, workshops, innovation implementation


“Bon Bon and its belgian identity”

Christophe Hardiquest is the owner of the two-star restaurant Bon Bon in Brussels. Chef Hardiquest combines classic cooking techniques with modern influences and mainly focuses on local products and dishes. A chef who invests in his terroir. As a chef in the capital Brussels, he values his Belgian identity. His restaurant Bon Bon has become a reference for the Belgian gastronomy. But sometimes star chefs can also be left with some questions. Chef Hardiquest, for example, ended up at Foodlab Proef looking for answers. He asked Maxime about misos, fermentation techniques and taste engineering techniques to create unique flavours. Christophe Hardiquest believes that the foodlab is an important factor for the gastronomic scene, on the one hand to test and work out new ideas in concrete terms and on the other hand to push the boundaries of the hospitality industry.


Food Companies



Manu is a business and product developer specialised in the chocolate industry.


co-creation, research & prototyping, R&D

“Business & Product Development with BD-EM”

Emmanuel started his career at Barry Callebaut in various positions such as product developer, product manager mareketing and business developer. In 2016 he decided to start as a freelancer in product and business development consultancy for the chocolate industry. Yet, his entrepreneurial spirit goes even further. In the mean time, Manu also started the online business Be Choc'd, where you can create personalized chocolate boxes. In addition, he also developed Totem Chocolate, a concept of canned fondue chocolate that can be melted very easily. 

You can see that innovation, co-creation and development are always on Manu's agenda. But how did he end up at Proef? Manu is currently working toegether with the foodlab for the Cabosse Naturals project, in which Proef's expertise in the beverage sector is greatly appreciated. Manu mainly appeals to the efficient research and prototyping process at Proef: quick and optimal testing at the foodlab. Flexibility is also one of Proef's main advantages, according to Manu, since he can have applications tested in a short term. Moreover, Maxime's knowledge from scale up to industrial processing is another one of Proef's strenghts. It's not only about producing samples in the lab. "From prototype to final consumer product? Proef is definitely your place to be then". 


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Helping food companies developing innovative and consumer-oriented products.


co-creation, techniques, test kitchen, providing materials


“A fast route to market with Neon Whale”


Neon Whale helps food companies develop products and also combines product development with marketing. They guide companies from A-Z to lead new products to production. Their core values? Innovation, fast route to market and they also work completely consumer-oriented. It looks a lot like Foodlab Proef, but why would we work together if we are competitors? First of all, co-creation means collaboration. Neon Whale uses Proef for certain projects as the creative factor. For example, Neon Whale can always contact Proef for fermentation projects. In addition, the test kitchen and equipment are also advantages the food lab offers. Ideas can be worked out quickly. Secondly, co-creation also means cross-pollination. Proef is a place to get in touch with others and to share experiences.



Having a background as a nutritionist, she develops food concepts.



co-working space, network, community, product development

“From nutritionist to concept developer”

As a nutritionist, Amandine has always been concerned with healthy nutrition. With a degree in biomedical sciences and a background in pharmacy, she also has a great deal of knowledge about supplements and functional nutrition. Unlike product development, Amandine will ensure the full development of concepts. The collaboration between Amandine and Proef is like the combination of product development and marketing. She will take the trends and needs of specific markets into account and performs market analyses to develop concepts. For Amandine, Proef is as a sounding board in terms of knowledge, flexibility and Proef also offers a network or rather a co-working space. A place to share and to get to know other people.


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