National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award Recipients

Now in its 10th year, the Kitchen Innovations Awards program recognizes cutting-edge advancements in increased energy efficiency, waste reduction, and more for the foodservice industry

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsThe National Restaurant Association today announced the recipients of the 2014 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards, which honor equipment and technology that specifically improves the back of the house operations and benefits restaurant operators.

“2014 marks an important milestone for the KI Awards,” said Sam Facchini, co-founder and co-owner of Metro Pizza and 2014 NRA Show Convention Chair. “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.”

The 2014 KI Award recipients reflect the trends and topics most important to foodservice operators today. The 24 selected innovations offer solutions for operators addressing waste reduction and energy conservation, enhanced sanitation, as well as increased efficiency with equipment that showcases hybrid cooking techniques and reduced cooking times.

The 2014 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients are:

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsAlto Shaam, Inc.
CT PROformanceCombitherm Oven

  • This touch-screen 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%.

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 over 99% of the surface micro-contamination.

BKON Craft Brewer

  • The BKON Craft Brewer uses a proprietary negative pressure brewing technology allowing operators to effortlessly 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.

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsEdlund 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 five 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 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.

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsHenny 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 4X longer oil life without sacrificing productivity.

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

  • This 100% 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

  • 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% gas savings.

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsNovothermic 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.

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

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsRATIONAL USA
RATIONAL VarioSmoker

  • A small, plug-and-play, mobile smoke system that retrofits with nearly every RATIONAL combi-steamer built since 1997, allowing operators to successfully 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.

CypenVac Technology

  • This vacuum technology significantly 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%.

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsTurbo Coil, Inc.
Turbo Coil

  • A stainless steel, fully assembled compact evaporator coil, uniquely 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 easily maintain professional-grade sharpness for all kitchen cutlery without professional services.

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsWilbur Curtis Company
Wireless Freshness Monitoring System (FMS)

  • 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.

KI Award recipients were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts comprised of internationally recognized food facilities consultants, multi-unit restaurant executives, and design experts. The 2014 Kitchen Innovations Judges are:

  • Dan Bendall, FCSI, Principal, FoodStrategy, Inc.
  • Martin Cowley, Senior Manager, Design and Standards, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • William Eaton, FFCSI, Chairman of the Board, Cini-Little International
  • Robert Forrester, Principal, Restaurant Industry Solutions
  • Foster F. Frable, Jr., FCSI, Founding Partner, Clevenger Frable LaVallee
  • Jim Krueger, Jr., CMCE, Chief, F&B Research and Business Development, Air Force Personnel Center, Services Directorate San Antonio, Texas
  • Aaron LaMotte, Director, Sodexo Performance Interiors
  • Robert Marshall, Vice President, U.S. Operations, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Kathleen H. Seelye, FFSCI, LEED, Managing Partner, Ricca Newmark Design

National Restaurant Association Celebrates 10 Years of Kitchen Innovations with the Announcement of the 2014 KI Award RecipientsEach recipient and their product will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held from May 17-20 in Chicago. As the global restaurant and hospitality industry’s premier trade show, NRA Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event. To register, please visit For more information about the KI program and this year’s award recipients, visit

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals in the world. NRA Show 2014 will be held May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2014 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, held in conjunction with NRA Show, will take place May 18-19. The events attract 65,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the NRA Show and IWSB websites at and, and find the NRA Show on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest and the NRA Show Blog.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.