Commercial Kitchen 2019’s Innovation Challenge culminated yesterday with 13 cutting edge products making the final.
On Tuesday, visitors to the show at the Birmingham NEC were invited to vote on their favourite new appliances from an initial shortlist of 24. The onsite Innovation Challenge Gallery was the hub for this, displaying summaries and images of each entrant.
Yesterday morning the 13 finalists were then invited to make a 90 second pitch in front of a panel of judges comprising Phil Shelley, immediate past chair of the Hospital Caterers Association; Simon Woplin, head of innovation at Ambassador Theatre Group; Mark Kendall, commercial director at Cedabond; Jack Sharkey, MD at Vision Commercial Kitchens; Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla; and chef and food consultant Jay Morjaria.
Following deliberations, the results were announced yesterday afternoon, with five appliances striking gold, six achieving silver and two receiving bronze awards.
The first golden winner was Gamble Foodservice Solutions for its Foldaway Bar that can be set up in less than a minute and stored away in a 2ft2 space. The judges described it as a simple and incredibly effective solution.
The next to strike gold was the GreaseShield GS2000-SS grease trap, which can be located directly under sink bowls to save kitchen space. The judges said: “This is a product that is constantly evolving and this can be clearly seen with today’s model.”
Hupfer’s Therma Dry hot holding unit also joined in the gold rush. This utilises the thermal energy of infrared waves to ensure food remains at a constant temperature. According to the judges: “This is the reinvention of the bain marie. Simple, effective, well thought-out, from a company that thinks about the problem and then applies innovation.”
Another product singled out for a top recognition from the judges was Klipspringer’s iClean Mini. This turns ordinary tap water into stabilised aqueous ozone water, one of the world’s most powerful sanitisers and cleaners. Judges were amazed that this product can “change the molecular structure of water to create an effective cleaning product”.
The last gold winner was the Unox Evereo Cube service temperature food preserver, a compact version of the original Evereo launch from last year, with the 600mm cubed version suitable for sites without a kitchen. The judges lavished praise on the appliance, calling it “stunning”, “mind-blowing” and that it “throws out all traditional preconceptions of what’s possible. The applications are literally endless”.
Unox was also lauded for its Bakerlux Shop Pro Deck Oven, which gained silver recognition. Aimed at the retail and convenience sector, the range features 35 models, including traditional stone deck versions. According to the judges: “It’s a great product that allows traditional baking with a deck in a smaller footprint, with the added benefit of humidity when required.”
Lincat’s Cibo fast oven also achieved silver status. Using a patent pending combination of three different heat sources: convection, grill and a heated base, it can cook a variety of food in less than 3 minutes. The judges loved its versatility, saying: “It’s great for the food to go sector and for pop-ups. We can see this product range evolving and going onto even bigger and better things.”
Another silver winner was True Refrigeration’s TCR Counter Refrigerator, which is fully front breathing, with the manufacturer believing it is the most energy efficient counter currently available. Judges recognised this, stating: “We love the energy saving and the incredible 552 different configurations available. True is a company that puts its money where its mouth is, with a 5 year parts and labour warranty.”
Synergy Grill Technology’s Trilogy Grill range gained instant silver recognition, having been launched at the show itself. The cooker allows users to vary the power precisely and uses advanced technology to control gas intake and air-induction. The judges welcomed that the British manufacturer has taken its “already brilliant” innovation and pushed it even further.
The next silver winner was Filta’s GreaseMaster immiscible liquid separator, which operates under hydrostatic pressure and has no moving parts, permanently removing fats, oils and grease from waste effluent. The judges commented: “It’s a great product that is applying physics in a new and innovative way to manage an age-old problem.”
Rounding out the silver victors was Kingspan’s SmartServ Pro system, which allows users to manage and monitor their commercial grease and waste in real time from anywhere in the world. The judges summarised: “We are seeing the evolution of connected kitchen appliances. This is moving it on to the energy use and environment and is a great innovation.”
In the bronze category was SmartMix by Smabo, described as the first tabletop induction multi use rotating and tilting kettle, which was launched at the show itself. Judges’ comments included: “What a great, versatile piece of kit. We look forward to seeing the evolution of this, which we are sure will continue to benefit kitchens in the future.”
Completing the bronze winners roster was Regale Microwave Ovens’ Microsave microwave cavity liner. This features a new wave design base and is manufactured in the UK for use with the Sharp CPS1A, Panasonic CPS2A-CPS3A, Samsung CPS4A and Daewoo CPS6A microwaves. The judges said: “We love the enthusiasm and personal investment by Regale MD Pat Bray and the passion that goes into this product. We are delighted he has the design patented; it’s a great product.”