The National Restaurant Association announced in a release the recipients of its prestigious 2010 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Award, which recognizes the most groundbreaking equipment on the global foodservice market as selected by an independent panel of experts. This year's awardees will provide restaurant and foodservice operators with new solutions to serve their guests the highest quality meals and service while increasing productivity, safety, cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability. All the KI products will be showcased in an interactive demonstration area at the 2010 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show at Chicago's McCormick Place, May 22 - 25.

"Each member of our panel of judges has the hands-on experience to recognize true innovation, which is what makes our KI program so exciting," said Ira Cohn, convention chair for NRA Show 2010 and president of ARAMARK Business and Industry Group. "These products will make restaurants run faster, smoother and more efficiently, which will result in better customer service and higher quality food. Selecting the right equipment for a restaurant kitchen is crucial to creating and serving safe, nutritious and delicious meals."

Some of the 2010 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients include:

Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC - The ionator EXP

A hand-held, on-demand power cleaner that converts tap water into ionized water—a powerful dirt-removing, bacteria-killing agent. When used as directed the ionator EXP kills 99.999 percent of harmful bacteria without the use of toxic chemicals.

Alto-Shaam Inc. - The Alto-Shaam CombiTouch

An intuitive pictorial and video graphic touch screen control. CombiTouch commands all the basic and advanced cooking functions for 250 standard and customized recipes and training, without operators having to read text.

Champion Industries - E2series Flight with Quad Rinse 

A unique linkage between the conveyor and the water flow control conserves water and energy use, as hot water input is reduced proportionately, when the speed of the conveyor is slowed.

Champion Industries - Heat Recovery Unit with Temp-Sure system 

This innovation eliminates the need to pre-heat the final rinse water, conserving energy, while the temp-sure system continually monitors outlet temperature and adjusts airflow to maintain the proper rinse temperature.

Ecolab- Scrub N Go - Cordless Floor Scrubber

This compact scrubber replaces the daily mop and bucket. It cleans, scrubs, vacuums, and dries, all in one pass. With its rapid-recharge lithium battery, Scrub N Go scrubs at 1045 rpm and the powerful vacuum leaves floors virtually dry and safe.

Henny Penny Corp. – iControl for Evolution Elite

The Gas Evolution Elite Open Fryer now offers the new iControl, which monitors all fryer activity. iControl provides the operator with data to improve oil usage, meet product quality standards, and continuously optimize frying operations.

Hobart Corp. - Ventless AM Warewasher

The Hobart AM Ventless eliminates the need for purchase and installation of a hood. It's the first ventless door-type that recaptures water vapor, and condenses it, to heat the incoming cold water inlet for the final rinse cycle.

Irinox USA LLC - Multi Fresh Blast Chillers

Multi Fresh brings it all together - blast chill, shock freeze, rapid thaw and proofing - controlled by its Dynamic Fresh System, which allows you to cook, hold and serve optimal food freshness to the table.

Manitowoc Beverage Systems/Manitowoc Foodservice – TRUfill Beverage Dispensing System 

This unique system dispenses beverages, most notably draft beer, in 84 percent less server time. It delivers the "perfect pour" via a nozzle that engages through a one-way resealable valve in the bottom of the cup.

Merrychef / Manitowoc Foodservice – eikon Accelerated Cooking Oven 

The new eikon series of speed ovens offer an icon-driven touch screen operation enabling instant menu management with archive capacity, ethernet updates, operator training and service maintenance instructions.

Middleby Corp. - Middley Marshall Mini WOW Oven

This high speed conveyer oven with the Middleby Marshall patented energy-eye and motor sleep mode technology automatically powers down between uses and saves 30 percent in energy vs. prior models.

Middleby Corp. - Southbend Ultimate Range

The Ultimate Range is completely configurable to customers' needs. Operators can design their own range using the dedicated Web site, which offers an array of options like gas tops with electric ovens, front sauté burners with high output back burners and many more.

Multiplex/Manitowoc Foodservice - Blend In Cup Smoothie Machine

This small footprint, refrigerated Blend In Cup machine produces a wide range of quality smoothies and dairy-based beverages. All ingredients are onboard, including the ice machine, and its touch screen allows operators to manage inventory and operational procedures.

Oliver Packaging & Equipment Company - Mini Chip Slicer

This countertop slicer is designed to safely and efficiently create healthy snack chips from day old bakery, including bagels, baguettes and buns. The blade frame guard makes cleaning safe, and the blade cartridge is easily replaced.

Perfect Fry Co. - Spin Fresh Centrifugal Fryer

Perfect Fry's countertop fryer uses Spin Fresh technology with a built-in spinner basket. After cooking, it spins off the excess oil during a finishing convection cooking step, to provide reduced calories and enhanced taste.

Vegawatt - Vegawatt Cogeneration System

Vegawatt is a fully automated and work-flow integrated energy cogeneration system that generates on-site electricity and hot water for foodservice operations by using the waste vegetable oil from their fryers as a fuel source.

International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event 
 
In addition, the NRA announced that its 2010 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) will be held May 23 - 24, in conjunction with the association's 2010 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.  The event includes exhibits by established and emerging wine, spirits and beer producers from around the world and exclusive food-alcohol pairing stations. IWSB attendees also may attend expert-led, educational sessions that guide restaurateurs and bar managers to success, from the alcohol producer to the restaurant guest. This is the restaurant and hospitality industry's only forum focused exclusively on operator beverage alcohol-related needs.

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