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Waitrose is doubling the number of its innovation chefs

They’ll be based at the British supermarket’s soon-to-open development kitchen, which will include a specialist innovation lab and five tasting rooms.

It was the first British supermarket to introduce sushi and hummus – and, courtesy of Heston Blumenthal, Christmas puddings with whole candied oranges inside. And soon Waitrose’s offerings will become even more innovative.

Yesterday (December 18), the supermarket announced that its £1.5m development kitchen will open half way through 2018. Inside it will be a dedicated innovation room, five tasting rooms and a cookery theatre for food development courses.

“Innovation is in the DNA of our business and over the years we’ve pioneered everything from the first supermarket organic food through to chocolate and ginger mince pies, which are new this Christmas,” said Rupert Thomas, Waitrose’s commercial director.

“This new facility is part of our commitment to being the most innovative, high quality food retailer in the supermarket sector.”

A total of seven chefs will be based at the new facility. They’ll be led by Jonathon Moore, the supermarket’s executive chef for brand development and innovation.