CHICAGO – Tomorrow’s kitchen is on display at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Hotel-Motel Show at the McCormick Place.

The show, held May 19-22, features more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit space. Officials believe more than 73,000 restaurant-and-hospitality industry professionals from 110 countries are in attendance.

Only the top new products received the NRA’s 2007 Kitchen Innovations Award and some of those could directly impact bottom lines and cut labor costs for quick-service operators. For the third year in a row, Enodis received more innovation awards than any other company. The brand’s 2007 KI winners included the Scotsman Prodigy, Lincoln Fastbake; the Convotherm Mini, and the Delfield Versadrawer.

The award-winning Prodigy Cube Ice Machine claims to use patented mineral-sensing technology–its WaterSense adaptive purge control automatically adjusts the quantity of water needed–to flush mineral residue, limiting scale buildup and keeping the ice machine cleaner longer. According to its manufacturer, Scotsman Ice Systems, the machine is the first cuber to exceed both the 2008 California Energy Commission and 2010 Federal Energy Efficiency regulations by up to 22 percent.

Alto Shaam Inc., based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has a new fryer that may pique the interest of operators. According to the company, the ASF 75G Gas Fryer achieves 71-percent efficiency through enclosed forced-air modulating burner and heat exchanger. The company says the fryer reduces cost, extends oil life, reduces absorption and provides rapid recovery.

“We’ve never seen a fryer with this level of efficiency and performance,” says Dave
Zabrowski, senior engineer at the Foodservice Technology Center, in Alto Shaam’s Kitchen Bytes.

A Scotsman sales rep discusses the benefits of his Prodigy
Cubed Ice Maker. It received a Kitchen Innovations Award this year.
Photo by Fred Minnick.

Other award winners to keep your eye on:

Bio HI Tech America LLC–BioX: BioX uses a patent-pending biological process to decompose and dissolve up to 1,500 pounds of food waste per day. The liquid is disposed into a drain or used for irrigation. The stainless steel, no-odor unit is suitable for kitchen locations.

Vulcan-Hart–Floor Gas Steamer: Vulcan’s PowerSteam cooks with super-heated 235 degree steam. Its high output generator/energy-efficient burner delivers continuous 235 degree flow, allowing in and out orders without shut down or reset.

Blodgett Oven Company–XCEL.5E Hydrovection: This first self-cleaning electric convection oven features easily removed bi-directional blower wheel and baffle, welded stainless liner with large radius corners, protected gaskets and steam-assist feature, resulting in potential 95-percent reduction in cleaning time.

Pitco–Solstice Rethermalizer: This water bath rethermalizer, delivers 54-percent efficiency from its Solstice burner/baffle design, extracting more heat and achieving radiant mode quicker for faster recovery and cooking.

San Jamar–Kleen-Brush System: Positions a fingernail/hand brush to fit under any gooseneck faucet, exposing it to running water and soap, thus minimizing cross-contamination. Encourages cleaning of fingernails and fingertips, and fits leading brands of brushes.

Unified Brands–Randell FX Series: The FX series, a refrigerated system of one to four drawers, has internationally patented magnetic lids that seal to the insulated insert ensuring precise temperature control from -5 degrees to 40 degrees for refrigerated/freezing applications. –Fred Minnick

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