We took a step into the Kitchen Innovations (KI) Pavilion, where the future is now. Among the 18 cutting-edge KI Award winners in the pavilion this year, three caught or eye off the bat:
- The hot: There it was, sitting tantalizing before us: hot pizza, made from fresh dough. And Kevin Fox of Advanced Composite Materialsis telling me it cooked in less time than it would take us to eat a couple of slices? Clearly this man has not seen us at Giordano's, but when he tells me that means 2-3 minutes, I conceded that perhaps we had a fair fight. The magic is thanks to a ceramic composite microwave heat-able oven insert called Silar, which reaches 700 degrees in 7-10 seconds. It's available both as a grill and a flatstone.
- The green: The Somat Companywas showcasing the eCorrect Waste Decomposer, an automated waste system. Put your organic refuse in at the end of the night, and 14 hours of maceration, heat and dehydration later it will be reduced by up to 90% of its volume. All that's left is a sanitized, organic "hummus soil amendment." It looked like mulch or compost to us. Whatever you call it, it was a lot more pleasant (and cheaper to haul) than a dumpster full of food scraps, and a lot faster than traditional composting.
- The versatile: We're guessing that when he was a kid, Viking Range CorporationEngineer Chris May was a lego guy. Actually, judging from the Modular Range Design he was showcasing, he probably still is. He showed us the mix-and-match design, where range, where range-tops, ovens, grills, cabinets, refrigerated cases, counters can be fit together whichever permutation fits a particular operation's needs. The units seem solidly built and are definitely still commercial grade, and posses that distinctive Viking aesthetic.