The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show announced the 2022 recipients of the Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards, which recognizes the year’s most forward-thinking and cutting-edge innovations that meaningfully improve foodservice operations. The National Restaurant Association Show is the premier event to learn about foodservice technology innovations, unique ingredients, and emerging trends in the restaurant industry, and will take place May 21-24, 2022, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
“Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Kitchen Innovations Awards,” said Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions. “Each year, I’m eager to visit the KI Showroom to see how equipment advancements like these are contributing to improving operations by increasing efficiency and productivity, and ultimately supporting business growth.”
The KI Awards program has earned a reputation for defining the gold standard of foodservice equipment innovations. This year’s recipients reflect the trends and topics most important to foodservice operators today, while generating industry growth through a focus on automation, efficiency, safety improvements, sustainability, and more. The KI Awards recipients were selected by an independent panel of judges comprised of industry leaders and internationally recognized food facility consultants, multi-unit executives, and design experts.
The 2022 Kitchen Innovations Awards recipients are:
Alto Shaam, Inc.
Building on the invention of the multi-cook oven category, Converge® ovens pair vertical, patented Structured Air Technology® with steam capability in each chamber. With up to three independent chambers per oven, Converge can cook three different foods simultaneously—all at different temperatures, fan speeds, humidity levels and cook times. All that, and it cleans itself, too.
Botrista’s new turnkey beverage program offers unique Drinkbot equipment alongside a line of pre-packaged ingredients in proprietary bag-in-box format to deliver infused teas, lattes, flavored lemonades, iced coffees and much more, all within five square feet. Drinkbot accommodates 14 BiB ingredient packs, each with its own connectors, tubes, nozzles, etc. Software automates portioning, dispensing and mixing; an aerator handles blending.
Duke Manufacturing Co.
Waterless wells have solved the chronic water issues of steam, lime, scorching, plumbing and so on, and now Duke adds its own advances with programmable temperatures for high-medium-low settings and a large, intuitive touchscreen for each well including service diagnostics and alerts. Easy pop-out access and non-stick removable silicone liners make cleanup a breeze. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Frontline International Inc
More than filtration, Kitchen Controller is an end-to-end automated oil management system that monitors oil quality via a hand-held fry-vat sensor and communicates condition and recommended actions to help extend oil life, such as skimming, topping off or changing out. Change-outs are push-button automated and touchless. Managers can remotely monitor functions and verify recommendations are being performed.
Frymaster / Welbilt Brand
FilterQuick Intuition™ is designed to be superior to all previous 30-lb fryers. This total redesign includes a capacitive touch screen, enhanced software, automatic internet connection, variable-speed filter pump, variable-speed combustion micro fans, and more. Collectively, these features deliver the most serviceable, most reliable, and most innovative 30-lb fryer ever.
Garland / Welbilt Brand
Traditionally, downforce on the top platen was achieved with weight distributed across the food product. A load of two patties or 10 created different cooking results. Some alternatives are complex. Active Compression solves all that with a simple, reliable platen-locking mechanism that lets the operator set the gap between top and bottom cook surfaces regardless of load. Consistent compression drops cook times almost by half.
Hoshizaki America, Inc.
Hoshizaki’s clean-sheet design includes an easy-access cooling system of back-to-front ducted airflow for even rail temperatures, a single refrigeration circuit with separate temperature settings for the rail and cabinet, and a night mode allowing pan storage in the rail with the lids closed overnight, automatically adjusting the setpoint up when the lids are closed, down when they’re open.
ITW – Food Equipment Group
The IBEX Oven™ features cutting edge solid-state radio frequency (RF) technology combined with convection heating to deliver fast, fresh, full-batch results and premium food quality across the entire menu. IBEX closed-loop, digital cooking intelligence adapts to feedback from food in real time as it changes, always optimizing for both quality and speed during cooking, baking, and reheating.
Vacuum blending has been the hot ticket in blending lately, pulling air out of the container before blending begins to create remarkably smooth, fine consistency with greatly reduced oxidation and foam. Kuving takes it to the next level with much quicker blending and true one-touch operation that automatically closes the enclosure, vacuum seals the container, blends perfectly, shuts down and self-opens—all in 25 seconds.
T&S EasyInstall Hose Reel Cabinet
The T&S EasyInstall Hose Reel Cabinet is an all-in-one streamlined design that simplifies field installation and reduces the complexity of specifying a hose reel system. The cabinet comes pre-assembled, so installers only need to determine if they want top or bottom inlets, and whether to install recessed or surface mounted.
WMF Americas, Inc.
The WMF 5000 S+ represents a feat of modern engineering for the fully-automatic espresso machine category. New features such as the groundbreaking AutoClean system is capable of eliminating any common hygiene issues related to milk. The WMF 5000 S+ allows operators to execute a top-quality coffee program with minimal staff oversight.
Cindric added, “While the Kitchen Innovations Showroom is always an exciting display of equipment innovations, this year will be like no other. Awardees from 2020, 2021 and 2022 will all be on display making this the largest Kitchen Innovations Showroom in the Show’s history! We cannot wait for operators and manufacturers to connect and discover how this cutting-edge equipment will benefit their businesses.”
The 2022 Show will provide several opportunities for attendees to learn more about the KI recipients, including an Innovation Theater session, Fireside Chats and KI Showroom tours. KI Awards recipients, including many from 2021 and 2022, will also be featured on The Show To Go, a cost-free digital marketplace where operators can connect directly with the suppliers to learn more about each of these innovative solutions.
2020 Kitchen Innovations Awards recipients:
- Ecolab—KAY® Antimicrobial Fruit & Vegetable Treatment (AFVT) & Produce Handler
- Ecolab—Rodent Ceiling Service
- Electro Freeze, An Ali Group Company—9 Flavor Fuzionate
- Georgia-Pacific—GP PRO Automated Sealing Machine
- Hoshizaki America, Inc.—Sphere Ice Machine
- RATIONAL USA—iVario
- Star Manufacturing—Ventless Induction Down Draft
- UNOX INC.—EVEREO®
2021 Kitchen Innovations Awards recipients:
- Curtis—Curtis GemX® Narrow IntelliFresh® Coffee Brewer with FreshTrac®
- Ecolab—Cockroach Multi-Station
- Eloma, An Ali Group Company—Compact Pro
- Hobart – FEG—AMTL Two Level Door Type Dish Machine with Hobart Smart Connect IOT App
- Hoshizaki America, Inc.—Hoshizaki 2by2 ice cube machine, IM-50BAA-LM
- Manitowoc / Welbilt Brand—CrystalCraft Premier™
- Minipack America—MX-Infuser
- RATIONAL USA—iCombi® Pro
- Sunshine Innovations—Luccy
- TurboChef Technologies, LLC—Plexor
- UNOX INC.—MULTI.Day HOT VACUUM
The National Restaurant Association Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event. For more information and to register, visit nationalrestaurantshow.com. Connect with the Show online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.