2011 International Chefs Congress Wrap-Up: The Innovator Awards

2011 International Chefs Congress Wrap-Up: The Innovator Awards

Presented by M. Tucker, Vitamix, True Food Service Equipment, and Wisconsin Cheese

The 2011 StarChefs.com Innovator Awards were announced on the Congress Main Stage on Tuesday, October 4. Each year, these awards are given to three chefs and four products for their outstanding performance in the realm of American cuisine. It was a proud moment for all honorees and an opportunity to celebrate leaders and innovators in the culinary industry. And it was a rare instance of recognition within the industry, as the awards were voted on by Congress attendees, except the Contribution to American Cuisine Award, which was voted on by the StarChefs.com Chefs Advisory Board.

Will Blunt of StarChefs.com, 2011 Community Award Winner Barton Seaver, 2011 Mentor Award Winner Paul Kahan, Ken Oringer of Clio, and 2011 Contribution to American Cuisine Winner Daniel Boulud, and Antoinette Bruno of StarChefs.com

As a community of their peers, protégés, and pundits, we honored sustainability leader Barton Seaver (Community Award), Paul Kahan (Mentor Award), and Daniel Boulud (Contribution to American Cuisine Award) for their outstanding contributions to the industry. And as a community of working chefs and industry professionals, we recognized Fresh Origins Crystallized  Micro Basil, Waring’s Commercial Combination Food Processor with Liquilock™ Seal System, Trannon Culinary Traveling Culinarist, and Unified Brand/Randell’s Refrigerated Protein Processing Table.


presented by True Manufacturing and Chef Ken Oringer, 2010 Mentor Award Recipient
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The Mentor Award recognizes a chef who is instrumental in supporting young cooks in their quest for success. Through their commitment to hands-on education both within their kitchens and without, these chefs are working to shape the next generation of culinary leaders.


Paul Kahan
Avec, Big Star, Blackbird, and The Publican – Chicago, IL


Presented by Vitamix
Vitamix Logo
The Community Award honors chefs who are consistently active in their local communities, and to whom community involvement is an essential part of their professional mission. They are generous with their knowledge, resources, and time, making them role models to other chefs. And they reach out to fellow chefs whenever possible to strengthen the bonds of their culinary community and beyond.

Barton Seaver


Presented by Wisconsin Cheese
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The Contribution to American Cuisine Award honors chefs whose culinary vision and accomplishments have changed the face of American cuisine for the better. Keeping in mind the diverse identity of American food, these are chefs who have cultivated new ideas and brought them to the forefront of the culinary world.

Daniel Boulud of Daniel – New York, NY


TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AWARDS These awards recognize a company who offers a product that is innovative in its mission or design, and instrumental in helping chefs or culinary professionals succeed in their endeavors. Nominees are voted on by attendees of the International Chefs Congress, and awards are given in four categories: Heavy Equipment, Specialty Equipment, Tabletop and Smallwares, and Food and Beverage.


Heavy Equipment:
Unified Brands/Randell
Randell Refrigerated Protein Processing System
Unified Brands Logo
This innovative solution to temperature management allows operators to fabricate all proteins in a food-safe environment without the costly investment of special butchering rooms. The refrigerated base, with interchangeable work surfaces, provides a preparation area that can be specialized to the protein. Proper temperatures help increase the yield of finished product while keeping products in the food temperature safety zone at all times. Paired with 2 FX precise temperature storage drawers and stainless clamping areas for grinders and stuffers, these features provide unmatched functionality for safely managing proteins.


Specialty Equipment
Trannon’s Traveling Culinarist
Chef Vaughn Trannon’s Culinarist line isn’t just informed by a keen eye for efficiency and innovation, it’s built with a chef’s needs in mind. Chef Trannon spent years in the industry, including a stint as executive chef for the Ritz Carlton Hotels, before turning his efforts towards a product line of sleek, sophisticated tote bags for chefs. The bags are compartmentalized to hold all shapes and sizes of cooking utensils. The Traveling Culinarist line is set to redefine how chef’s travel, offering stylish, and practical designs to satisfy a multitude of tastes and budgets. All Trannon Culinarist products are made in the United States and feature innovative elements of design and rugged construction.


Tabletop and Smallwares
Waring’s Commercial Combination Food Processor with Liquilock™ Seal System
Waring Commercial’s new WFP14SC Combination Food Processor is the next evolution in food preparation. It features the LiquiLock™ Sealed System—a fully sealed batch bowl and blade that allow for processing large amounts of liquids. Now you can process dry ingredients and liquids in the same machine with no mess. In addition, the serrated S-blade is locked in place for easier, safer pouring. Finally, Waring has developed three cutting-edge patented accessory discs: a sealed whipping disc to create homemade whipped creams and butters in seconds, an adjustable slicing disc with 16 thicknesses that can be switched on the fly, and a reversible shredding discs with two shredding sizes in one.


Food and Beverage
Fresh Origins Crystallized Micro Basil
Fresh Origins
Fresh Origins has taken its best-selling micro green and preserved it in sugar. Its bold new taste can only be described as basil candy. Covered in glistening sugar crystals, this delicious garnish has a crunchy texture that adds an exciting mouthfeel to both sweet and savory creations, from amuse to dessert. Micro Crystallized Basil does not need refrigeration and is shelf-stable for several weeks.