Yorkshire-based desserts brand Freaks of Nature has appointed chocolatier, patisserie and bakery expert Claire Gallagher as director of product innovation.

Gallagher had been working with the gluten-, dairy- and egg-free manufacturer as a consultant, but has now come on-board full-time.

Her 25-year career in the food industry has seen her work alongside Michelin-starred chefs, including Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. In recent years, she has led the food and drink innovation team at Bettys, creating treats including its afternoon tea and continental cakes.

“Claire is a highly innovative product developer; it really is quite a coup for us to have her on-board. She had been working with us for a few months as a consultant, helping to expand our product range, but now, she is a fully-fledged member of the team,” said Freaks of Nature founder Peter Ahye.

“The input she had in developing our latest dessert has been invaluable. It’s the first plant-based and gluten-free Belgium chocolate mousse in the UK. She’s as passionate as I am about creating great-tasting plant-based desserts without compromising on quality.”

Gallagher added that she was “so excited” about joining Freaks of Nature. “I love that the company is so bold in its approach to making the best-tasting plant-based desserts possible,” she added.

The company – which has a factory in Ossett, West Yorkshire – has 15 products on sale in major retailers. Its portfolio includes Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cherry Bakewell Hot Pudding, Lemon Sponge Hot Pudding and Choc Caramel Cheesecake.