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Maxime Willems

Maxime Willems

Helping New and Established Food Makers to Innovate and Co-Create

Maxime Willems, who runs The Restaurant with Olly Ceulenaere during FTI Gent, has been involved in the development of several new, innovative products and start-ups in recent years with his food lab Proef. ‘Plant-based’ and ‘non-alcoholic’ appeared to have been the buzzwords, but certainly not the requirements. Willems is open to any food maker willing to innovate and co-create. For the biologist puts great emphasis on co-creation and sharing knowledge with the Proef community, which he has been building since 2015. A community that not only includes start-ups but also established companies, chefs and bartenders. And that does not shy away from R&D, even in turbulent times for the food sector, with its tight margins and soaring commodity prices.

“Because anyone who does not innovate by using new ingredients or questioning existing ones is doomed to starve in the long run,” Maxime Willems told business mag Bloovi. Sustainable, niche and local do very well these days, he added, “but what we do shouldn’t just be product-oriented. For example, I’m a big fan of Ghent-based company Foodpairing, which works with algorithms that can predict the next food crisis.”

Foodlab Proef

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