The National Restaurant Association Announces 2017 KI Awards Recipients


CHICAGO, Ill. — The National Restaurant Association recently announced the winners of its 2017 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards, which recognize forward-thinking equipment and technologies that increase efficiency and productivity in the back of house. Award recipients will be featured at the NRA Show — taking place next month — in its Kitchen Innovations Pavilion.

“The engineers and inventors who develop these KI Award innovations work tirelessly to solve the challenges of back-of-the-house operations, to the great benefit of restaurant operators,” says Atour Eyvazian, Convention chair for NRA Show 2017 and owner of 107 Jack in the Box restaurants in Houston and San Antonio. “The KI Awards are a testament to their contributions in improving the foodservice industry.”

The 2017 KI Awards focus on technologies and products that address current trends and topics that are most important to foodservice operators, such as labour, energy and water efficiency, food safety, sanitation, cross-functionality and saving space.

This year’s Kitchen Innovations judges included:

  • Dan Bendall — principal, FoodStrategy, Inc.
  • David Chislett — executive principal, Ricca Design Studios
  • Jeff Cook — chief engineer, Restaurant Solutions Group, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Richard Eisenbarth — president and COO, Cini-Little International
  • Foster F. Frable, Jr. —president, Clevenger Frable LaVallee
  • Randy Homer — program manager, Food & Beverage Operations Asset Management, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • Jim Krueger Jr. — chief, Air Force Food & Beverage Policy, Procedures, Business Development & Strategic Initiatives, Air Force Services Activity (AFSVA) San Antonio, Tex.
  • Aaron Lamotte — senior director, Performance Interiors, Sodexo Performance Interiors
  • Steve Otto — director, Capital Equipment Purchasing, Darden

The 18 products that received the KI Award, include:

  • Vector Multi-Cook Oven by Alto-Shaam by Appliance Innovationual Zone Egg Station by Antunes
  • Nitro Blending System by Blendtec
  • Stealth LED Fly Light by Ecolab
  • XPress Grill by Garland
  • CLeN Conveyor Warewasher with Drain Water Energy Recovery by Hobart
  • M-iClean UM With GiO Module by Meiko
  • MercoMax Visual Holding Cabinet by Merco
  • WOW 2 Grilling System by Middleby CTX
  • Met-ALL Induction System by Panasonic
  • Roll-O-Matic™ Silverware Rolling Machine by QuiQsilver
  • SelfCookingCenter XS Model 6 2/3 by Rational USA
  • RHEF-45 High Efficiency Fryer by Royal Range of California
  • TruVapor by Southbend
  • Keg Management System by Standex Refrigerated Solutions Group (Nor-Lake and Master-Bilt)
  • Dual Zone Mega Top Prep Table by Turbo Coil
  • DoubleBatch by TurboChef
  • VC5G Gas Convection Oven by Vulcan

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