Foodservice Equipment Reports

EVENTS: Host With The Most

October’s five-day international Host show featured 1,700 exhibitors in 12 halls, but the vast halls mitigated the effect of mingling with 133,000 fellow attendees from 162 countries and allowed for as leisurely a tour as you could like. Ours was frequently interrupted with stops in the espresso and gelato exhibits. In fact, exhibitor numbers were up almost 7% with 350 new additions, and U.S. manufacturer representation rose 17% over 2011’s show with 41 participants exhibiting on the show floor.

Overall, we found both inspiring styling and innovative technology in the products on display at Host. 

Our short list of top picks:

1) Since 1978, (Italy) has produced cabinets for other manufacturers. At Host, it introduced the Kocoon Refrigerated Vacuum Conservator. The unit uses vacuum refrigeration to keep foods cold and fresh and uses less energy than standard refrigeration. The unit is comprised of three cabinets, and each can hold five full-size gastronorm pans. Each cabinet can be programmed—including operating without vacuum during busy periods—and operates independently from a single compressor. When the door is closed, a vacuum is automatically created; before re-opening, you press a button to release the vacuum. It’s not yet on the company website,, but it will be soon.

2) Quality Fry’s (Spain) FastFry machine takes ventless automated frying to the next level by frying different products in succession without mixing flavors. You load fresh or frozen product into a hopper on top of the countertop box, and it drops into an upright donut-shaped fryer that is half submerged in cooking oil. At the end of the fry cycle, a rotating blade sweeps the cooked product up and out of the oil. Particles fall through screens at the base of the fryer. The frying chamber is a closed environment with no light and little oxygen (which can speed oil breakdown), minimizing heat loss to keep oil at a constant temperature. The removable frying module lifts out for cleaning. Safety features include an oil temperature sensor, auto disconnect for the electrical element and an internal vent system that removes grease and odors.

3) FlashGrill by Gruppo Zernike srl (Italy) was designed to “respect health” by cooking at lower temperatures to avoid burning saturated fats and creating potential carcinogens. Cooking at lower temperatures also reduces energy consumption and cooking smoke. A resistance heater surrounded by diathermic fluid in a sealed compartment provides even heat across the underside of the cooking surface. Cooking temps range from 410°F-446°F on a choice of cooking surfaces: flat, ribbed or a combination of both, made of stainless. A cart with built-in ventilation accommodates the FlashGrill. 

4) Designed to be a completely portable cooking station for live demos and food presentations (and touted to be as easy to set up as Ikea products with no tools), the Livecookintable by MEC2 GmbH (Germany) is a sleek plug-and-play modular system. It’s comprised of a table frame that holds several interchangeable panel top sections for cooking and serving, including hot-and-chill, teppan, grill, wok, induction, hot-plate and table-surface panels. A roll-into-position Airwall provides ventilation, tucking bulky fan and filter components under the table. Power connections are out of the way under the drop-in panels. All of the pieces can be put into carrying bags or trolleys for transport. or see the video at

5) iSi’s (Austria) Gourmet Whip (for whipping cream, soups, sauces, etc.) combined with new Rapid Infusion accessories quickly transfers aromas into liquids and creams. Instead of days’ worth of infusion time, it takes only a few minutes to create lemon olive oil, chocolate vodka, jalapeno tequila, raspberry vinegar or lavender simple syrup. Invented and patented by Dave Arnold, founder of the Museum of Food and Drink in New York, this device maintains fresh and natural tastes and keeps bitterness at bay. Don’t be put off by “molecular gastronomy” labels: This product is easy and fun to use. It’s not yet on the market, but it’s coming soon.

For more information, contact Mary Esther Treat, Vice President, Ideas Well Done, Winooski, Vt.

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