NRA's Kitchen Innovations award recipients named

The National Restaurant Association has announced the recipients of the 2014 Kitchen Innovations Awards, which recognizes equipment that improves the back-of-house operations and benefits restaurant operators, according to a news release.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, and winners will be on display at the annual NRA Show in Chicago in May.

"In addition to proudly celebrating our 10 year anniversary of the awards, this year's honorees demonstrate the continued tradition of the KI Awards in celebrating innovative companies making a measureable impact on the day-to-day operations of the foodservice industry," said Sam Facchini, co-founder and co-owner of Metro Pizza and 2014 NRA Show Convention Chair.

KI Award recipients were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts comprised of food facilities consultants, multiunit restaurant executives, and design experts.

The 2014 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients are:

  • Alto Shaam, Inc., CT PROformance Combitherm Oven

This touchscreen controlled combi-oven features an accelerated start-up temperature booster and requires zero clearance for other equipment, giving operators more flexibility in the kitchen and cook-times reduced by as much as 20 percent.

  • BioZone Scientific International Inc., IceZone X

Scalable to treat almost any commercial ice machine, this clean-in-place sanitation system uses patented ultraviolet light oxidation to prevent contamination and eliminate more than 99 percent of the surface micro-contamination.

  • BKON, BKON Craft Brewer

The BKON Craft Brewer uses a proprietary negative pressure brewing technology allowing operators to craft any loose-leaf tea beverage, third wave coffee, or made-to-order infused cocktail with precision and speed.

  • Champion Industries, Dry Assist

This under-counter and door-style dishwasher technology draws cool, dry air up and through the rack of sanitized ware via a duct in the bottom of the chamber, removing moisture and speeding drying/turnaround time for dishes.

  • Edlund Company LLC, Model KSUV-18 U.V. Knife Sterilization Cabinet

This patent-pending knife cabinet utilizes UV light technology to sterilize cutlery in as little as 5 minutes without the use of expensive chemicals and no risk of rust/pitting on knives.

  • Environmental Products & Services Ltd, GreaseShield ECO 1850 PreFilter Low Level

This system protects drainage systems and harvests renewable energy resources by using waste thermal energy to remove emulsified FOGs before they solidify, additionally removing and dewatering organic waste to eliminate foul-smelling anaerobic conditions.

  • Fired Up Kitchens, Smoke Zapper

This filtering system works with a hood or oven-direct vent to yield EPA-compliant emissions from wood-, coal- or charcoal-fired equipment, allowing safe, clean use for more operations.

  • Garland, Garland Induction FlexiHob Technology

An intelligent technology that automatically adjusts electrical input to offer flexibility to cook with multiple pans of varying sizes on the same induction unit, making it appropriate for à la carte or batch cooking, all while saving energy.

  • Henny Penny Corporation, Velocity Series Pressure Fryer

This pressure fryer uses automatic oil filtration, which does not require operator intervention, enabling filtration to occur after every load for improved oil quality and 4-times longer oil life without sacrificing productivity.

  • Industrial Skins LLC, Bio-Tile Multi-Layered Ceiling Tile Application

This 100 percent recyclable, protective surface is applied to new or existing vinyl ceiling tiles, and features five layers that peel away individually to provide a clean, contamination-free surface for restaurant and non-commercial kitchens.

  • Manitowoc Beverage, Multiplex Manual Fill Blend-in-Cup System (BIC-MF)

This automated system makes and dispenses smoothies, frappes, blended- and over-ice drinks completely in the cup to help operators efficiently prepare a broad range of drinks and expand menus.

  • Nieco Corporation, BroilVection

This burner system captures waste heat and blows it back down on the products being broiled, utilizing both radiant heat and forced convection for faster cooking and up to 40 percent gas savings.

  • Novothermic Technologies Inc, NVX 2060 Heat Recovery System

A self-contained system that recovers otherwise wasted heat from drained hot water to warm incoming fresh water, significantly enhancing the energy efficiency of any existing commercial dishwasher.

  • Ovention, Shuttle Oven

This ventless impingement oven transitions seamlessly between conveyor and matchbox mode at the touch of a button to contain heat, moisture and grease-laden air for improved speed, menu flexibility and energy efficiency.

  • Pearl City Manufacturing, Convection Gas Fryer

This fryer design continually circulates oil through a remote heat exchanger and incorporates a dual filter system to accomplish oil savings, 70 percent cooking energy efficiency, instant temperature recovery and reduced cook times.


A small, plug-and-play, mobile smoke system that retrofits with nearly every RATIONAL combi-steamer built since 1997, allowing operators to smoke and cook simultaneously, saving on time, space and investment costs.

  • Star Manufacturing, Holman Impingement Conveyor Toaster

This conveyor toaster combines radiant heat with impingement by recirculating heated, high-speed air over bread and other products for faster, efficient and more even toasting.

  • ThermalRite, CypenVac Technology

This vacuum technology increases the thermal resistance of insulation panels used in blast chillers and other insulated cabinets and, used in conjunction with conventional polyurethane insulation, can reduce energy consumption by up to 43 percent.

  • Turbo Coil Inc., Turbo Coil

A stainless steel, fully assembled compact evaporator coil, designed with a patented twin blower system, enabling reduced energy consumption and superior installation versatility.

  • TurboChef Technologies, The TurboChef Fire

This countertop convection oven features integral flow cylinders that channel airflow to rapidly increase heat transfer, reaching evenly dispersed temperatures up to 800°F to cook 14-inch, fresh dough pizzas in as little as 90 seconds.

  • The Vollrath Company, Downdraft Vent Module

A front-of-the-house cooking station that integrates downdraft venting, fire containment, fire suppression, and drop-in induction in the same base to meet the commercial requirements for emissions and foodservice fire safety.

  • Vulcan/ITW FEG, PowerFry5 with FivePass Heat Transfer

This ENERGY STAR-qualified fryer maximizes energy use with a signature technology that reclaims and circulates heat five times both inside and outside the tank, resulting in faster recovery/cook times, more productivity and less wear.

  • Wicked Edge Precision Sharpeners, Wicked Edge Professional Series

A precision, angle-controlled knife-sharpening machine that allows kitchen staff to maintain professional-grade sharpness for all kitchen cutlery without professional services.

  • Wilbur Curtis Company, Wireless Freshness Monitoring System

This remote monitoring system tracks the freshness of food and beverages/coffee, and uses proprietary communication technology to report to a single interface, increasing quality, reducing waste, safety risk, cost and equipment downtime.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Topics: Equipment & Supplies, National Restaurant Association, Sustainability

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