This article is the online extended version of the one that appeared in the February 2009 issue of Chef Magazine (pg. 27).
Despite the state of the economy, manufacturers of foodservice equipment and supplies are finding the means to bring much-needed products, as well as updates to existing products, to market. Some of these items can help save on energy, water, labor or food costs. Some are multitaskers and can better optimize kitchen space. Some can fill a special niche that will provide a restaurant an edge over the competition. Yes, even in these trying times, foodservice manufacturers are stepping up their game to formulate products with you—the chef and restaurateur—in mind.
See the largest grouping of these products all in one place by paying a visit to the biennial North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) Show being held Feb. 5 to 7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The NAFEM Show will attract approximately 20,000 industry professionals this year and feature more than 600 North American manufacturers. For more information on the NAFEM Show and the exhibiting companies, visit www.nafem.org/thenafemshow. And read on for Chef Magazine's product roundup from this year's show.
Visit the Equipex Ltd. booth to check out the full line of Sodir electric, cast-iron Panini Grills, including single-top-plate Savoy and Panini models, plus double-top Majestic and Diablo models. All Vitroceramic models feature scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean smooth bottom plates and grooved upper plates, plus durable lightweight construction for portability and long life. Stainless steel construction, convenient operating controls, a detachable front drip tray and removable crumb drawer are standard; and all-grooved or all-smooth plates and cook timers are available with all models. Visit www.equipex.com, or call (800) 649-7885. NAFEM Booth #2286
Waring Commercial will be introducing the new Professional Electric Spice Grinder which features a high-performance 19,000 RPM commercial-grade motor designed to grind whole spices including peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, granulated sugar and other dry ingredients. This compact grinder features durable stainless steel blades, a heavy-duty brushed-stainless steel housing, an upper housing safety interlock and three removable dishwasher-safe stainless steel grinding bowls with handy storage lids. Visit www.waringproducts.com, or call (800) 492-7464. NAFEM Show Booth #3438
ONLINE ONLY! T & S Brass and Bronze Works Inc. will showcase a variety of new and improved fixtures, including hose reels, standard and mini pre-rinse units, glass fillers, emergency eyewash units and JeTSpray valves. They will also showcase their new line of AB1953-Compliant fixtures and fittings that meet low-lead standards enacted in California as Assembly Bill 1953, which sets a maximum lead content of .25% by weight in water pipes, fittings and fixtures. T & S is first to offer these products, well ahead of the January 1, 2010, compliance date for new products. Visit www.tsbrass.com, or call 800 476-4103. NAFEM Show Booth #3012
Energy-saving equipment and technology will be the focus of product offerings at the Master-Bilt booth. These will include the Endura line of institutional foodservice equipment that feature: reach-in, pass-through and roll-through refrigerators and freezers; heated and dual-temp cabinets; prep tables; and undercounter cabinets. Also shown will be the Fusion series of self-contained, bottom-mount and solid door reach-in refrigerators and freezers, and the MSR series of modular multi-compressor refrigeration systems. Master-Bilt equips its walk-in refrigeration systems with the Master Controller with patented Reverse Cycle Defrost, which trims energy use by 27 percent. Visit www.master-bilt.com, or call (800) 647-1284. NAFEM Show Booth #3239
Interested in single-depth island cooking suites? Montague has introduced a line called The Excalibur Crusader. Crusader suites have a single row of equipment, most designed for easy access from both sides. Open burners, broilers and griddle plates are centered in the cabinet, so they can be reached and used by chefs on both sides of the narrow profile suite. Range ovens are designed as pass-through models with doors on both sides. Visit www.montaguecompany.com, or call (800) 345-1830. NAFEM Show Booth #1463
Check out the tools for equipping action stations and buffets for special events at the ChefMaster booth. The company's high-heat butane stove features a high-heat output of 10,000 Btus, an adjustable heat range (from boil to simmer) and a high-impact carrying case. Visit www.chef-master.com, or call (800) 333-2124. NAFEM Show Booth #1408
ONLINE ONLY! A 62-quart-capacity floor model mixer geared for the needs of high-volume restaurants, especially those specializing in pizza, will be shown by Globe Food Equipment Co. The SP60P floor model mixer has a 3-hp motor with direct-drive gear and high-torque transmission that can easily mix 100 lb. of dough. Rigid cast iron construction comes with stainless steel bowl, flat beater, stainless steel wire whip, bowl truck and spiral dough hooks that produce dough of the right texture for thin crust pizza. Additional features include 15-minute digital timer and thermal overload protection. Visit www.globeequipment.com, or call (866)604-5623. NAFEM Show Booth #863
Electrolux Professional will show the new air-o-convect hybrid convection ovens, a new air-o-steam combi model and a host of Electrolux-Dito products. The air-o-convect combines convection oven and steamer in a unit that is easy to use and delivers most of the cooking and automatic cleaning benefits of a combi oven (now available in gas and electric, 6- and 10-pan models.) The 6-pan oven can be mounted on an open base or stacked on another 6-pan or 10-pan model. Also, the new 6-pan, full-size air-o-steam combi oven can also be stand-mounted or stacked; and gas models now have higher efficiency, lower emission burners and are Electrolux Professional Green Spirit products. Electrolux Dito will also show new planetary mixers ideal for pastry and dessert mixing, plus an improved line of Panini Grills, new TRS Model Vegetable Slicers and TRK Combination Food Processors. Visit www.electroluxusa.com, or call (866) 449-4200. NAFEM Show Booth #2080
Spring USA will introduce its new Radiance Line of chafing dishes. These classy chafers have mirror-polished stainless steel covers, satin-finished hardware and legs, and feature the "Intelligent Design Water Channel" that returns condensation back into the water pan. The rectangular model has 9 7/8-quart capacity, while round styles are available with 4- or 8-quart capacity. Spring USA will also show their Heated Carving-Serving Station, which is designed to safely maintain carved meats at 150˚ to 160˚F. This attractive station has two heat lamps above, plus a heated base that can double for serving hot hors d'oeuvres. Visit www.springusa.com, or call (800) 535-8974. NAFEM Show Booth #2854
ONLINE ONLY! Victorinox Commercial Cutlery will debut as the new brand name for the former R.H. Forschner by Victorinox line of restaurant kitchen knives. The brand continues to offer a broad selection of cutlery including several sizes of chef's and bread knives, along with knives for carving, slicing, sandwiches and boning. Also highlighted will be the new Precise Slice Knife that cuts equal size slices of prime rib or ham with the aid of an attached guide that can be set to the width of the slices you want to cut with the knife's serrated blade. Knives are offered with regular handles and a white Fibrox handle textured for slip-free usage. Visit www.swissarmy.com/forschner, or call (800) 243-4074. NAFEM Show Booth #1263
Rational USA's new SelfCooking Center CareControl System will be just part of the excitement found in its show booth at NAFEM. CareControl automatically measures oven cleanliness and determines the need for cleaning with Care-Tabs, a scale-dissolving system that prevents lime scale buildup. Rational's new booth expands its popular arena-style cooking demonstration capabilities, with live presentations scheduled every 15 minutes. Visitors can sample any of five different dishes finished in the oven and sit bistro-style at high-top tables for three. Visit www.rational-usa.com, or call (888) 320-7274. NAFEM Booth #3830
Efficient, cost-effective and safety-conscious cutlery maintenance is provided by the Model 2100 Chef's Choice by EdgeCraft Corp. Commercial Diamond Hone Knife sharpener, which will be the centerpiece of the Chef's Choice exhibit. This device provides the EdgeSelect three-stage sharpening process that with several quick passes gives the knife edge an extraordinary "bite," yet it is safe for top-quality knives, as it never detempers the blade. Built-I precision angle guides assure the correct sharpening angle. Visit www.edgecraft.com, or call (800) 342-3255. NAFEM Show Booth #2733
ONLINE ONLY! Rubbermaid Commercial Products will showcase its Safe Ice Handling System, which includes 5 1/2-gal. Ice Safety Tote with angled top surface and pouring spout, ergonomic carrying grip, a hand grip near the base for easy lifting, and a 25-lb. bucket capacity. It comes with a 74-ounce Scoop has an angled handle with hand guard that improves leverage and control and the two-handed 120-oz. capacity Scovel for faster loading times. New this year will be a mobile cart that can hold four Ice Safety Totes for easier delivery of ice to where it is needed. Visit www.rcpworksmarter.com, or call (800) 347-9800. NAFEM Show Booth #2063
Jimex Corp. has added additional flexibility to the Ascend JSP-Series 60-inch- and 72-inch-wide sandwich prep tables by offering overnight covers. These stainless steel covers are designed to provide additional countertop workspace for microwaves or storage containers when prep space is not needed. JSP-6016 or JSP-7218 prep table lids are easily removed by unscrewing retainer bolts, so the overnight covers can be substituted when needed. Visit www.ascendmfg.com, or call (800) 314-4477. NAFEM Show Booth #3836
BTV-Chef Revival Inc., a sister company of San Jamar, will showcase its complete line of apparel for restaurant chefs and their crews. The line includes chef jackets, tunics, pants, aprons, headwear and footwear for both men and women. Also highlighted will be gloves to protect kitchen crews from heat and from being cut, freezer jackets, towels and table linens. The company will debut a new merchandiser for displaying these clothing in retail outlets catering to foodservice clientele. Visit www.bvtcr.com, or call (800) 352-CHEF.
NAFEM Show Booth #3641
Check out the award-winning Eco Tech Plus atmospheric steamer from Market Forge Industries Inc., the first full-size gas steamer to be given an Energy Star rating. It also has the first built-in water filtration system and integrated water-management system. Eco Tech Plus boasts a unique "steam on demand" concept with a "steam and hold" feature, while consuming a minimal amount of water—saving on utility costs. Visit www.mfii.com, or call (617) 387-4100. NAFEM Show Booth #1875
ONLINE ONLY! Viking Commercial will unveil its first line of restaurant cooking equipment at its NAFEM Show booth. The highlight will be an island suite that is 17-feet long and includes six burners, a griddle, a hob, three ovens, a warming tray, a cheese-melter and a salamander. The line also includes commercial ranges with sealed 30,000-btu top burners, ovens with cast iron floors for maximum heat retention and minimal recovery time, charbroilers with cantilevered adjustable cooking grates that have three-position vertical adjustment every 12 inches, and planchas with two to four heat zones maximize cooking flexibility. Visit www.vikingcommercial.com. NAFEM Show Booth #268
Visit Robot Coupe USA for a look at the new and improved CL50 Series E. The machine prepares 1,200 servings in three hours or less and has available 39 different processing discs to give unmatched processing versatility. This model has two hoppers. The larger hopper makes it easy to process bulk vegetables (i.e. cabbage, celery) and can accommodate up to 10 tomatoes. Its cylindrical hopper is used to feed long and delicate vegetables (i.e. carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms) for precise cutting. Another new feature is the redesigned lid that eliminates corners, providing enhanced sanitation. Visit www.robotcoupeusa.com, or call (800) 824-1646. NAFEM Show Booth #1420
Take a closer look at the YK-200A Combi-Oven from YieldKing. This combi oven is a multifunction smoker that includes food steaming capability. It looks like a mobile smoker cabinet (or holding cabinet) but is capable of roasting, steaming, smoking, holding, proofing and baking. The OmniVection control technology can determine the optimum cook time and cooking method for any given protein. Visit www.southernpride.com, or call (618) 997-9348. NAFEM Show Booth #2586
ONLINE ONLY! A complete line of energy efficient ranges and countertop appliances will be shown by Comstock-Castle Stove Co. These commercial cooking appliances can be custom built, combining almost limitless component choices that include open burners, charbroilers, raised or flush griddles and hot top sections. Because of superior insulation and clearance ratings, these cookers, which include ovens that can be set up to 500-degrees-F, can be installed near refrigeration equipment without making those unit's compressors work excessively hard. The range top's "star" burners provide a more efficient heat transfer to larger pots. Visit www.castlestove.com, or call (800) 637-9188. NAFEM Show Booth #1627