NRA Announces 2011 Kitchen Innovations Award Recipients

The National Restaurant Association today announced the recipients of the annual 2011 Kitchen Innovations™ (KI) Award, a prestigious honor recognizing groundbreaking kitchen equipment in the foodservice market. An independent panel of judges comprised of internationally recognized food facilities consultants, multi-unit executives and design experts selected KI Award recipients for their innovations that provide new solutions to restaurant and foodservice operators. KI products will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion area of the 2011 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place from Saturday, May 21 through Tuesday, May 24.

The KI products will enable foodservice operations to run faster and more efficiently by increasing productivity, quality, safety, cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability. The result: foodservice operators will deliver better customer service and the highest quality meals to their customers.

“Each of the judges has the hands-on experience and real-life expertise to recognize the tools that are truly going to have a substantial impact on the efficiency and success of a restaurant’s kitchen and ultimately the success of the restaurant itself,” says C.W. Craig Reed, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2011 and Director of Food and Beverage, Broadmoor Hotel. “Our Kitchen Innovations Award recipients contribute to the evolution of our industry, and help restaurant operators reduce costs while boosting profitability. As the industry recovers from tough economic times, these products will make a difference in commercial kitchens across the nation.”

The 2011 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients are:

 Cambro Manufacturing – Camduction™ Complete Heat System
The efficient hot meals delivery system that charges 20 heat retention bases in one unit, allowing for a base to be ready every 12 seconds with reliable temperature holding for 60 minutes, with drying base cart and transport cart.

CaptiveAire Systems, Inc. – CORE Protection Fire System
A UL300 approved fire system for commercial kitchen ventilation with electric remote real-time monitoring, supervision, and communication of operational status and specific fault conditions.

Cleveland Range, LLC, a Manitowoc Foodservice Company – Mini 2in1 Combi Oven
The Mini Combi oven-steamer, with two independent cooking chambers in a single body requiring limited space, allows foods to be prepared simultaneously using different cooking methods.

The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola Freestyle®
A new fountain dispenser that integrates the latest technologies to dispense more than 100 sparkling and still beverages, with web based consumption reporting to manage inventory, and ordering efficiencies.

Cres Cor- Hot Cube 3
This patent pending tri-powered hybrid hot cabinet, uses 120V indoors, then easily converts to propane heat for 8 hours use outdoors with an optional solar panel to recharge controls. The ultimate in indoor/outdoor food quality and safety for resort events and off-premise catering.

Ecolab- Apex™ Conveyor Dishmachine
Designed for spotless ware results at half the utilities, Apex Conveyor recycles heat, replenishes the wash-tank automatically and without interruption, and cleans and thoroughly de-limes itself automatically using an innovative, patent pending process.

Ecolab – Ecolab Cleaning Caddy
A touch-free restroom cleaning caddy with lock-and-key chemical dispensing, spray wand, on-board wet vac, and rechargeable battery in a footprint the size of a mop and bucket.

Franke Foodservice Systems – EcoVent Exhaust Air Cleaner
The first cooking exhaust cleaner that introduces the grease- and odor-reducing effects of ultraviolet light into the airstream above the hood without placing any
device directly in the duct. As a result: Dramatic reduction in the need for filters and daily cleaning.

Halton Company – Jet Extraction System (JES)
The extraction-exhaust system designed for display cooking, using a cyclonic aspirating hood incorporating tempered safety glass and vortex tubes to provide a quiet cooking process with clean sight lines.

Halton Company – Proximity Heat Reclaim Hood
This reclaim hood positions a flue bypass to capture the highest clean combustion heat from a gas appliance with an integrated heat exchanger to supply hot water and reduce energy consumption.

Henny Penny – PriMelt Oil Melter
An integrated, on-board oil melter that converts semi solid oils to a completely clear liquid, and maintains it for normal replenishment, without hot splash, through the Henny Penny automatic top off system.

Hobart Corporation – Advansys CLeR Energy Recovery
This ENERGY STAR rated conveyor-type warewasher captures heat from exhaust air and ware to preheat inlet water for energy savings while monitoring recovery coil temperatures and automatically adjusting for start-up.

Manitowoc Ice, a Manitowoc Foodservice Company – Indigo Series Ice Machine
Ice machines with intelligent diagnostics and 24/7 monitoring. Operators can program ice production, and monitor all functions … ice clarity, machine maintenance, energy/water usage and unique LuminIce™ growth inhibitor.

MEIKO, USA – M-iQ Flight-type dishwasher
The new M-iQ includes the revolutionary ‘M-Filter – Active Wash’ filtration system that actively and continuously removes food waste from the wash water. It features a multiple stage filtration process that collects food soil and then flushes it completely in high-pressure cycles.

National Hot Water – Dragon Fire Thermo Recovery Filter™
This heat recovery device replaces conventional grease filters within kitchen vent hoods. It combines a heat exchanger with a two-stage grease filter to convert exhaust heat into energy for heating water or make-up air.

Power Soak Systems, Inc. – Produce Soak with Advanced Washing Technology
Free-flowing water through high volume gentle-wash jets removes soils from hard-to-reach areas, and Advanced Washing Inserts and Flexible Tank Dividers create consistent rotating motions for thorough washing and sanitation.

Star Manufacturing – Pro-Max Two Sided Grill with Pro-Lift Hinge System
A new generation of Pro-Max Grills is based on a newly designed hinge system to transfer loads to compression springs, for longevity, and lift straight up before rotation, to improve uniform grilling of multiple foods.

This cost effective alternative to wheels or casters for commercial kitchen equipment, is non-breakable, chemical resistant, and low friction so one person can slide equipment easily for more thorough cleaning.

Strahman Valves, Inc. – Kwik Clean 3® Pre-Rinse Spray Nozzle
This all stainless steel, unique three-tip nozzle is in a rotating nose cone allowing quick spray pattern changes to handle any job. Its ultra-low-flow / high efficiency design reduces energy, water and wastewater costs while significantly lowering CO2 emissions.

Supreme Metal Inc. – VISION Bar Furniture
A line of underbar furniture featuring interchangeable, customizable finishes, hardware, fixtures, storage options and installation configurations, as a cost effective way to upgrade interior bar functionality and decor integration.

Vitamix Corporation- The Quiet One®
The quietest commercial blender available, The Quiet One® provides dramatic sound reduction through its exclusive door seal design and patent-pending floating technology that significantly reduce vibration transmission and improve airflow.

Wells Manufacturing – Universal Ventless Hoods
These self-contained, up to 8 feet hoods, have flexibility to mix and match various electric cooking equipment, and feature an innovative air path with 4-stage filtration ( including a HEPA filter ) capture more effluents with 34% less air flow and 30% lower noise. 

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2011 will be held May 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show website at

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at