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National Restaurant Association Announces 2012 Kitchen Innovation Award Recipients

Esteemed Award Honors Industry’s Groundbreaking Foodservice Equipment In An Exclusive Pavilion at NRA Show 2012

February 8, 2012
Contact: Annika Stensson (202) 973-3677, Derrek J. Hull (312) 853-2522

KI Award 2012(CHICAGO) The National Restaurant Association today announced the recipients of the 2012 Kitchen Innovations™ (KI) Award, which recognizes cutting-edge kitchen equipment in the foodservice market. An independent, expert panel of judges comprised of internationally recognized food facilities consultants, multi-unit executives and design experts selected KI Award recipients for significant innovations that improve quality, productivity, service, and sustainability.

Award recipients will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion in its new central location on the exhibit floor (booth 2440 ) at the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, set for its new dates May 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“The independent panel of judges selected these products based on the forward-thinking approach to commercial kitchen equipment demonstrated by their innovative creators,” said Jack Crawford Convention Chair for NRA Show 2012 and President and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative, LLC. “These truly groundbreaking products will have a substantial impact on the efficiency and success of restaurant kitchens, as well as the profitability of the restaurant itself. As the largest restaurant and hospitality trade show in the United States, the NRA Show offers the perfect forum to explore trends and find new products to enhance restaurant operations.”

As the global restaurant and hospitality industry’s premier trade show, the NRA Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event. 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.

The 2012 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients are:

Frymaster - Large Vat Fryers ( 1814 G/E )
Frymaster’s new large-vat, 1814 gas and electric fryers’ innovative frypot designs maintain high production capability while using 15% less oil, reducing energy consumption from 25 to 47%, and conserving space under the hood.

Garland Commercial Ranges - Garland Induction Griddle
A patented six-point real time temperature sensing and unique power management system, coupled with a high-performance three-metal layered plate, enables this unique induction griddle to achieve almost-instantaneous recovery and even heat across the griddle.

Merrychef USA - Planar Plume Technology
This new patented Planar Plume Technology creates even impingement sheets of air in rapid cook ovens which delivers quicker heat transfer, less microwave destruction, lower blower speeds and increased energy efficiency.


The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2012 will be held at its new dates May 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event attracts 58,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show, and find us on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, YouTube and our widely read blog Floored!

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. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 5-8, 2012, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 27-29, 2012, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids Live Well program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.