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Commercial Kitchen confirms its Innovation Challenge Awards contenders for 2018

More new speakers join the stellar Keynote line-up ahead of next week’s show

Competition is heating up ahead of next week’s Commercial Kitchen show at the NEC (5-6 June), as the full list of Innovation Challenge Awards contenders has been unveiled.

Unox, Retigo, Carpigiani, Trak, Menumaster, and DC Warewashing & Icemaking Systems are among the two dozen leading manufacturers and suppliers fielding 25 product entries for 2018 (many of which will be launching at the show).  Each will be hoping their latest catering equipment or kitchen tech has what it takes to win a prestigious Gold Award for best new innovation of the year.

They don’t have long to wait.  Doors open at 10am on Tuesday 5 June, with the first round of visitor voting taking place at the Innovation Challenge Gallery that day (until 4pm).  The exhibitors to have secured the most votes, will then go on to pitch their innovations to a panel of big name judges in the live final in the Keynote Theatre the following day (11.45am, 6 June).

This year’s judges include Antony Bennett, head of food at Loungers, Sarah Fryer, purchasing manager at Greene King; Craig Brookfield, kitchen design & equipment manager at Greene King; Abby Hughes, group food & beverage director at Kew Green Hotels; Paul Taylor, executive chef at Hilton Birmingham Metropole; Jack Sharkey, MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens; and Tyron Stephens-Smith, project & creative director at TAG.

“Having a show dedicated to the commercial equipment market, showcasing suppliers’ new products and innovations, is great,” says Jack Sharkey.  “Even more so that it’s centrally located, which means more of my staff, including designers, estimators and my technical project sales team, can attend – allowing them to keep abreast of new developments.”

Innovation Challenge entries include:

·         Adande Refrigeration: Aircell Sarma Grab & Go Cabinet

·         Carpigiani UK: Freeze&Go

·         Cuisinequip: Mycook Professional

·         DC Warewashing & Icemaking Systems: DC Optima Double Hood Passthrough

·         Environmental Products & Services: FilterShield FS1500

·         ETI: ThermaData® WiFi Loggers

·         Foodservice Equipment Marketing: The VECTOR™

·         General Catering: ROG Grill

·         Liebherr-Great Britain: SmartMonitoring from Liebherr

·         Meiko UK: Meiko M-iClean H hood dishwasher

·         Menumaster: Menumaster® Xpress-IQ™ MRX

·         Panasonic UK: Panasonic NE-1878

·         PRM Waste Systems: Bio Processor

·         Reco-Air: Reco-Air UL Listed Models

·         Retigo: Hold-o-mat

·         Roller Grill UK: Le Premium

·         Shepherd Filters UK: Shepherd Filters

·         Synergy Grill: Synergy Grill Mark 2

·         Target Catering Equipment: Target Bespoke Induction Range

·         Trak: Hot and Cold Display Unit

·         Trak: IsoBox Mobil Flex

·         True Refrigeration UK: TCR/TCF undercounter refrig-freezer

·         Unox UK: EVEREO by Unox

·         Vent UK: Vent AIR

·         Welbilt: Garland® Induction Instinct Hob 3.5

New speakers confirmed

Commercial Kitchen’s high-profile seminar line-up already includes senior directors and equipment buyers from Burger King UK, PizzaExpress, The Jolly Fine Pub Group, Fuller’s, Red’s True Barbecue, Las Iguanas, Tortilla, Punch Taverns, Pizza Pilgrims, TRG Concessions, The Hurlingham Club, Opus, Hilton Birmingham Metropole, and The Gentlemen Baristas.

Recently added new names include:

  • Nick Segal, owner/operator of Frederick’s, and Ashley Wells, executive chef at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane.  They join TAG’s MD Martin Stephens-Smith and project & creative director Tyron Stephens-Smith to discuss ‘Designing the most efficient kitchens in the UK’ at 11am on the show’s second day (Wednesday 6 June).
  • Craig Smith, head of corporate affairs at ISS UK and national vice chair of the HCA, completes the HCA-hosted panel session on ‘Building better kitchens in hospitals’ (2.45pm, Wednesday 6 June).
  • Mark Stretton, MD of Fleet Street Communications, will chair ‘The Solid Fuel Panel’ and interview Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Burger King, on opening day (at 11am and 1.15pm respectively, Tuesday 5 June).
  • Glen Crossland, MD of Walnut Creative, will chair the show’s first ever ‘Executive Chef Panel’, leading the debate on everything from essential equipment to kitchen kit wish-lists and future trends (4.15pm, Tuesday 6 June).

For further details and timings, please visit

Free visitor registration

Around 2,000 attendees from across the UK will be heading to the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June.  For multiple and independent restaurants, pubs and bars, hotels, food-to-go outlets, universities, schools, hospitals, care homes, local authorities, contract caterers, attractions, equipment distributors, installers, consultants, design and project houses, it’s the ‘go-to’ show for keeping up-to-date with the latest innovations, insights and trends in this dynamic marketplace.

Show features include a free two-day seminar programme, the Innovation Challenge Awards, and ceda Awards Gallery.

To register for a free trade pass, please visit and use priority code CK12 (direct link:

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