Restaurant Show to highlight 2024 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients

The Kitchen Innovations Awards were recently announced, highlighting an exceptional recipient list for the 20th anniversary of the honor

The latest innovations receiving the Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards in cooking, beverage and other key categories are advancements that address today’s most important foodservice and beverage trends. Below are some of the state-of-the-art products that were selected by the judging panel to be recipients of the 2024 Kitchen Innovations Award. The products will be on display in the KI Pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show May 18-21 in Chicago.

Cooking innovation:

In cooking, operators are looking for more versatility from of their equipment and the Blodgett ImVection IMV-4E Oven meets their needs. The oven has four chambers for many different options at the same time with a choice of convection or impingement through manual selection or menu programming from a single touchscreen controller. A sophisticated patent-pending motorized “shuffling jet plate” system aligns air holes for either convection or impingement cooking. The ventless unit provides one variable-speed fan per chamber; and a multiplexor that targets power when and where needed.  

Operators need automation in all areas of their operations. The Lab to Fab PizzaBot™ automates the pizza making process from forming dough, saucing, and adding toppings, to baking fully. Just like most pizza chains, the PizzaBot automated pizza making system applies toppings in a circular fashion. Operators can program the unit the way their culinary team has approved. PizzaBot consistently adds toppings such as sauce, cheese, pepperoni, sausage and more both quickly and accurately. The result is a better and more consistent pizza with less waste and labor savings.

The Pitco TorQ fryer brings advanced fryer technology into the commercial kitchen. Forced convection creates efficient heating and reduced recovery and cook times and continuous filtration reduces labor needs. A tank wash/drain system neatly gathers particulates and flushes them efficiently. Addressing reduced downtime, the TorQ has a pivoting arm that raises the filter out of the oil for quick, easy filter changes and reduced downtime.

Beverage service advancements:

Cervizi from Wild Goose Filling transforms the beer dispensing experience, alleviating inefficiencies of traditional draft beer systems. Cervizi reduces product waste, improves service, and offers data to streamline business operations and increase revenue. Cervizi applies proven Wild Goose technology used to package billions of canned beverages to offer draft beer a better way.

The Wunder-Bar M5 Bargun is lighter weight, has ergonomic contours and faster flow rates with accurate no-drift controls. The new M5 Bargun increases performance to 2.5 oz/second, a 67% improvement over the typical 1.5 oz pour. The M5 manifold incorporates Constant Flow Valve (CFV) technology for consistent ratios and eliminates the need for an adjustment common with legacy ceramic flow controls.

Conventional Ceramic Based Flow Control Valves in drink systems are prone to wear and drifting from adjustment, causing wrong ratios, poor taste and pour outs. Newton’s new Discrete CFV (Constant Flow Valve) ends these issues. The new plug-and-play retrofit for conventional ceramic-based flow control valves provides a fixed flow rate, factory set ratio that does not require calibration and does not drift. The improvement in beverage quality, reduction in waste, and service savings are significant for operators.

Ventless technology:

Evo America has redefined ventless cooking with the launch their Evo EVent® Open Canopy Hood. The unit uses ozone and cyclonic separation to remove grease laden vapors so effectively that it can accommodate high volume ventless frying and cooking proteins simultaneously. The Evo EVent unit is UL-approved for use with electric cooking equipment including fryers, griddles, ovens, broilers and more.

Enhanced mixing:

The Varimixer ERGO Series is a mixer where deep tradition meets the latest innovation with efficiency and comfort. Ergonomic, hygienic, and simple to maintain, the innovative ERGO is meets rigid standards and has a touch screen display and customizable recipes to the waterproof IP rating. The ERGO is in a class of its own. 

Everyone visiting the National Restaurant Show should plan to spend time in the Kitchen Innovations Pavilion to see these and other advanced industry innovations on display. It may be the most important time operators spend at the show, learning more about the latest and greatest advancements in the marketplace, selected by a judging panel of respected third-party experts from across foodservice representing some of the industry’s best-known brands and organizations.

Further details:

For more information, visit The Middleby Corporation.

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