Julius Persoone ©Kris Jacobs

The milestone of Julius Persoone

Chocolatier Julius Persoone's creations are characterised by a unique combination of emotion and hyper-scientific techniques. He was named the Finest Chocolatier of 2023 by Gault&Millau, but has no plans to stop there. "I want to do things no-one has ever done before."

Made people with throat cancer able to taste again

In the run-up to a conference by Ghent-based food tech company Foodpairing, Julius teamed up with Doctor Thomas Moors. Julius: "The question was whether we could do something for people with throat cancer. People who’ve had chemotherapy produce less saliva, and therefore can't taste as well as they used to. Together, we looked into what exactly saliva consists of. Based on those findings, I developed a praline that contains an artificial saliva gel. Acids naturally trigger saliva production, so I also created a very acidic chocolate for the praline. When patients bite into the praline, the artificial saliva first enters their mouths via the gel. After that, they get a brief taste of chocolate. The response to the praline has been overwhelming: people wept with happiness because they could enjoy chocolate again."

"Throat cancer patients wept with happiness because they could enjoy chocolate again."

Julius Persoone

Sharing information to inspire

"Unfortunately, we're at an impasse right now because the pralines have a shelf life of only a few days. So, we can't yet supply them to hospitals on a large scale. That's why I think sharing expertise, for example at conferences, is so important. Who knows, maybe our story can inspire someone from another sector who can help us out. When I'm speaking at a conference myself, I also like to broaden my horizons with other people's knowledge."

"Heston Blumenthal's vision of food and emotions is an inspiring milestone for me."

"British chef Heston Blumenthal, for example, created a dish called Sound of The Sea, where you eat seafood while listening to the sound of crashing waves through earphones. In the meantime, you're immersed in a perfume that has the salty scent of the sea. It instantly makes an oyster taste a hundred times better. That's an inspiring milestone for me. Blumenthal's vision of food and emotions is really the next step. I'd love to exchange thoughts with him at a conference one day."

Experimenting with flavours and techniques

In 2023, Julius was named Chocolatier of the Year by Gault&Millau, with The Chocolate Line, the artisanal chocolate shop where Julius leads the production team. "An award like this is a great recognition for the whole team: creative people who are thinking about how to take our chocolate to the next level, day after day," enthuses Julius. Does that mean he and his team will be resting on their laurels from now on? Quite the contrary. He is already busy planning the next milestone in his career. "The World's 50 Best Restaurants also elects The World's Best Pastry Chef every year. I want to win that award one day."

“I want to be The World’s Best Pastry Chef one day.”

"I want to keep innovating and doing things no one has ever done before," Julius goes on. “The combination of the emotions evoked by our chocolate and the hyper-scientific techniques behind it makes The Chocolate Line unique in the world of patisserie. For example, I've recently invested in a new ultrasonic machine, which breaks up aroma molecules and makes them 25 times bigger. It might use it to enhance the flavour of a praline filling as much as I want. I think it's great to experiment with flavours and techniques. It's why I love going to work every day."

Schouwburg Kortrijk - (c) Mark Depaepe

What’s your milestone?

Set it with a conference in Flanders.

Just like Julius Persoone, as a researcher, scientist, entrepreneur or policy maker, you want to set a milestone. A conference in Flanders can make an important contribution to your goal. It allows you to tap into the passion and expertise of insightful minds, bringing you another step closer to achieving your own milestone.

As a service of VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau, our experts reflect together with you on the positive, long-term impact of your conference. Want to know more about this exclusive service, free of charge for your association? Click the button below.

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