Kitchen Innovations Awards

The National Restaurant Association Show‘s annual Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards program celebrates the back of house innovations that improve operations and generate growth through advances in automation, sustainability, efficiency, space saving and more. 

Since 2005, The Kitchen Innovation Awards program has earned a reputation for defining the gold standard of foodservice equipment innovations. The program has recognized new and enhanced technologies that elevate automation, efficiency, safety and sustainability waste solutions, and more within the foodservice industry.  

Each year, the Kitchen Innovations Awards celebrate forward-thinking, cutting-edge equipment that’s making a significant impact on the foodservice industry. These awards are judged by an independent, expert-led panel of judges from a variety of backgrounds. The 2023 Awardees will be showcased in the Kitchen Innovations Showroom in the South Hall. 

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Explore the 2022 Awardees from the Kitchen Innovations Showroom

Alto Shaam, Inc.

Converge® Multi-Cook Ovens

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.

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Botrista Technology

Botrista DrinkBot

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.

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Duke Manufacturing Co.

Duke Waterless Well

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.

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Frontline International Inc

Kitchen Controller

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.

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Frymaster / Welbilt Brand

Frymaster FilterQuick Intuition

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.

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Garland / Welbilt Brand

Active Compression for Clamshell Griddle

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.

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Hoshizaki America, Inc.

Refrigerated Pizza Prep Table

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.

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ITW – Food Equipment Group

The IBEX Oven

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.

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Kuvings Commercial Auto Blender Chef CB1000

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.

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T&S Brass and Bronze Works

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.

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WMF Americas, Inc.

WMF 5000S+ Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine

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 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.

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KI Awards Judges

The KI Awards program is judged by a panel of respected third-party experts from across foodservice representing some of the industry’s best-known brands and organizations.

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Find new products at the 2023 KI Showroom

Visit the Kitchen Innovations Showroom in South Hall to engage with this year’s award winning products!

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