The National Restaurant Association today announced 25 recipients of the prestigious 2008 Kitchen Innovations* (KI) Award. This year’s KI Awards address the growing needs of foodservice operators, including energy/water conservation, improving productivity and food safety. Each of the cutting-edge products will be showcased in the interactive KI demonstration area at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place, May 17-20.

“This year’s unprecedented number of innovations illustrates that foodservice equipment manufacturers have stepped up to meet the needs of the restaurant industry,” said William C. Anton, FMP, convention chairman for the 2008 Show, and chairman and founder of Anton Airfood, Inc. “The 2008 KI Award recipients provide solutions to the many challenges facing restaurateurs and culinary professionals, including utility costs, labor, quality and efficiency.”

The 2008 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients are:

Advanced Composite Materials, LLC – Silar® Microwave Grilling and Speed Cooking:
Silar Microwave grill with reversible flatstone is an innovative ceramic composite microwave heatable oven insert, enabling high-speed authentic grilling and baking of paninis, sandwiches, subs and made-to-order fresh pizzas. Silar significantly increases restaurant productivity and menu variety, while improving the quality of service and menu options for patrons.

Cambro Manufacturing Company – Camtherm Hot/Cold Bulk Food Holding Cabinet:
This product is an energy-efficient thermoelectric heating and cooling unit with no compressor, no heating coil, and no humidifier. This cabinet provides maximum flexibility and steady temperature control, holding hot or cold foods plugged in or during transit.

Campus Products, Inc. – CPI Stemshine GP8A: Campus can document the savings in labor while insuring employee safety during the glass polishing process, guarantee consistency while improving quality and eliminating the need for dedicated personnel for Stemware drying and polishing. This will assist in supporting the industry’s image of innovated and exceptional cuisine and inspired décors.

Carter-Hoffmann, a Middleby Company – EnduraHeat Transport Carts: This innovation is a heat retention system based on a patented “solid to solid” phase change technology. The system disperses heat up to two hours after being charged and unplugged, providing flexibility for heated transport of bulk food and/or pre-plated meals, while eliminating the need for canned fuels.

Ecolab, Inc. – Apex TSC Dishmachine: The first all-solid, low-temperature dishmachine to use EPA-registered solid sanitizer, and an attached controller to optimize operational efficiency and reduce environmental impacts within the dish room. The controller enables Ecolab to monitor the warewashing process and provide operator guidance.

Electrolux Professional NA – S90 Full Surface Induction Range: This full surface induction range has four adjustable temperature zones with one powerful 5kW induction coil per zone. The 33″ wide surface allows an operator to use up to 16 pots simultaneously, maximizing the productivity of hood and floor space.

Everpure, LLC – Exubera Pro: This a customized system based on in-depth certified lab analysis of the operators’ water source and tailoring the appropriate filtration solutions. It is integrated with equipment and merchandising to serve still, sparkling, chilled alternatives to bottled water.

Follett Corporation – Ice Manager* Diverter Valve System: The Ice Manager automatically delivers ice to two dispensers from one Follett Horizon icemaker. Eliminate manual handling for worry-free operation, and reduced risk of ice contamination and slips and falls. One ice machine instead of two means lower upfront expenses and ongoing operating cost.

Frymaster , LLC, an Enodis Company – Protector* Fryer: The Frymaster Protector Fryer with SMART4U* technology has a 30 lb frypot that uses 40 percent less oil, but has the production capacity equal to 50 lb frypots. Its high-technology features automatically monitor frypot oil levels, replenish oil as needed, and alert the operator when the in-cabinet jug-in-box (JIB) oil supply needs changing.

Garland Commercial Ranges, an Enodis Company – Garland Restaurant Range: This new range has a unique, patent-pending, gas delivery design using a venture and porting configuration that equalizes the heating around the burner thereby avoiding “hot spots.” The consistent, even heating enables the operator to create improved quality and patron satisfaction.

Garland, an Enodis Company – HE Broiler: This new charbroiler features continuous sparking to ensure constant flame and has no standing pilots that need to be shut down or restarted, or temperatures needing to be re-established. With the HE Broiler, gas is turned off electrically and when relit, is turned on to the same pre-set temperatures across the burners.

Goslyn, LP – Goslyn Grease Recovery Device: Goslyn’s patented technology utilizes hydrostatic pressure and specific gravity with no moving parts to continuously and permanently remove and recover fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from waste effluent. There are no messy grease traps, and it requires less than two minutes per day for cleaning.

Groen, Unified Brands – Tri-Res20 with Tri-Res Boilerless Technology: A full-size gas combination oven offering steam, convection, and combination modes. Its unique boilerless system features three separate boilerless reservoirs with high steam capacity, precise control for different cooking modes, and operators can change modes without any down time.

Henny Penny Corporation – WaveClean* Automated Cleaning System in SmartCombi*: The Henny Penny SmartCombi with WaveClean is an automated two-in-one, clean-and-rinse, cartridge system that self cleans and will power off at the end of the cycle. There are three different cleaning programs, using the same minimal water by recycling.

Lincoln Foodservice Products, LLC, an Enodis Company – 8005 Return Toaster: The new conveyor return toaster incorporates the proportional-integral-derivative controller that self-regulates the toasting based on sensing amount and thickness of bread products in process. This innovative controller delivers 99% consistent look, texture and taste.

Market Forge Industries – Eco-Tech Plus* Steamer: The patented water management system is the innovation which enables this pressureless atmospheric steamer to operate on 15 gallons/hour or less, about 20 percent of most other steamers in its class. It creates steam on demand, and as demand decreases, the burners will automatically cycle off to conserve gas and water.

OilFresh* Corporation – OilFresh OF1000 Series Oil Extending Catalytic Device: This revolutionary oil-conditioning device fits in most open gas fryers. Using high-tech ceramic pellets, oil is prevented from rapid break down at a molecular level. Key benefits are extended oil life, reduced gas consumption, better quality fried foods, and labor/disposal cost savings.

Paloma Industries Inc. – Pulse Combustion Gas Fryer: Paloma’s unique pulse combustion burners accelerate transfer of heat into the frying medium to provide short cook time and rapid oil temperature recovery during cook time. In a ready-to-cook standby (idle) mode, the Paloma has a low energy rate of 3,420 Btu/h. So operators can achieve high efficiency during heavy load surges or on idle.

Revolutionary Cooling Systems – Stock Chiller: This patented rapid chilling process uses only ice and water, and quickly chills five gallons of soup or stock from 190 degrees to 40 degrees in six minutes, which allows the operator to make larger quantities for greater cost efficiencies without the food safety risks associated with slower chilling methods.

San Jamar – Saf-T-Wash* Food Sanitizer: The Saf-T-Wash is wall-mounted, which diverts water from the sink tap and charges it with ozone before it’s dispensed through the aerator for produce cleaning. The ozone-charged water is 300 times more powerful than bleach at killing pathogens on produce, with no residue.

Stellar Steam – Polaris: The Polaris utilizes a patented gas fired heating system and propane tank that can be used anywhere without electric or plumbing hook-ups. Its boilerless cooking chamber is constructed of anodized cast aluminum, which acts as a heat sink, allowing for heat retention, quick recovery, and reduced energy consumption.

Sterilox, a division of PuriCore – Sterilox Model 2100: The Sterilox system uses water, salt, and electricity to produce a food-safe sanitizing solution on site, on demand. The patented process produces a pH neutral solution that is highly effective at killing pathogens like E. Coli, Salmonella, Norovirus, and MRSA, and is FDA approved for food contact. It does not require mixing, dilution, protective equipment, or special disposal.

Twirl Pasta Company – Twirl Pasta/ Cucina 2000: A fully automated foodservice concept with self-service and operator models that uses patented equipment and process technology to perfectly cook and dispense fresh pasta meals in 80 seconds. Proprietary software precisely manages the enclosed cooking environment from delivery of the pasta to the multi-chambered kettle to final dispense.

Unified Brands – AVTEC – EchoArch Ventilation Systems: The AVTEC EcoArch combines the patent-pending arch top and front mounted high velocity exhaust slot. This innovative design creates a rate of speed faster than the updraft that captures contaminated air at very low exhaust requirements. The net result is an annual kitchen energy savings of up to 50 percent of the conditioned kitchen room air.

Vulcan – C24EA3-C24EA5 Counter Steamer: The innovation is its mineral eliminator with a unique “smart drain / power flush” system. The interaction of the sloped bottom and timed power flush create the Venturri Effect that increase the velocity and rids the accumulation of mineral deposits and need for frequent de-liming.

The 2008 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients were selected by an independent, expert panel of multi-unit operators and food facilities consultants. Dan Bendall, principal (FoodStrategy, Inc.), Martin Cowley, senior manager, restaurant design (Disneyland Resort), William Eaton, president (Cini-Little International), Robert Forrester, principal (Restaurant Industry Solutions), Foster F. Frable Jr., founding partner (Clevenger-Frable-LaValee Inc.), Rick Gentry, director, technical services (ARAMARK), Robert Marshall, vice president, U.S. operations (McDonald’s Corp.), and Kathleen H. Seelye (Ricca Newmark Design) represented the 2008 panel.

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