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Pop-up Kitchen Duality Wins HX’s Pioneering Concept Design Contest

HX’s Pioneering Concept award winner Duality will showcase pop-up capabilities at HX: The Hotel Experience

Having the flexibility to update the configurations of cook and serving lines can give operators a leg up in trying to keep pace with their customers’ changing preferences. And that’s where Duality, a newly developed modular, pop-up kitchen comes into play.

Modular, pop-up kitchen Duality enables flexibility in design.

Attendees of the HX: The Hotel Experience, taking place November 10-11 the New York City’s Javits Center, will have a chance to get an up-close look at Duality, winner of the event’s eighth annual Foodservice Pioneering Concept Award.

The fully customizable piece was designed to fit today’s growing need for operators to prep, cook and serve more food in less space, and support growth of foodservice in nontraditional spaces like airport lounges, grocery stores, corporate and residential buildings, outdoor venues and small-scale catering setups. The modular solution features six components that operators can arrange into dozens of configurations. At the end of service, the pieces fit back together in the shape of a circle or doughnut with a recognizable yin-yang at the center made up of the cashier/condiment and handwashing stations that can be set up separately from the main piece.

Interchangeable accessories will allow the flexibility to reconfigure a food concept quickly and cost-effectively. “Everything is changing constantly, so one of my thoughts behind Duality was the ability to not only pop up in just about any space on any given day, but also serve different types of foods out of the same space as menus change and evolve,” says Joseph Schumaker, FCSI, founder and CEO of FoodSpace. Duality is Schumaker’s brainchild.

Unique Unit Components

Though the unit comes standard with six pieces to make a complete circle, purchasing options allow for two or four pieces for smaller setups, or interchange pieces as equipment needs change. “There are literally 30 or 40 configurations that we have already discovered and this gives operators the chance to use Duality to prepare everything from sandwiches to seafood dishes to Mexican cuisine to made-to-order pizzas or calzones,” Schumaker says. It’s also possible to use Duality for a carving station with a heat lamp, for a small breakfast buffet with a made-to-order omelet station, or even a pop-up with multiple types of food offerings, Shumaker adds.

Duality 2As part of the Duality display at the HX show, attendees will have the opportunity to use virtual reality goggles to view nine different configurations.

Operators can opt to have a variety of cooking equipment built into the individual sections of Duality. The list of potential options includes induction burners, ventless fryers, hot-cold wells, rice cookers, and soup terrines as well as undercounter refrigeration and refrigerated prep tables. The self-contained handwashing station, complete with cold and dirty washing tanks, and affixed food shields, help meet certain health department regulations. Still, users of Duality will need to be aware of any local regulations around overhead ventilation and the use of ventless equipment, Shumaker says.

Duality was also designed for easy shipping with each piece small enough to wheel through a standard, 36-inch door. It ships on a crate as a full round or in pieces of twos, Schumaker adds. The entire unit also requires a modest amount of electricity; only three, regular circuits of power to get to 60 amps.

As part of the Duality display at the HX show, attendees will have the opportunity to use virtual reality goggles to explore nine of its many configurations, some of which show the unit shaped into a serpentine with the cashier/condiment and handwashing stations off to the side, or more circular, with room for a cook in the center like an action station.

Attendees will also be able to sample poke from a working example of Duality. This version of Duality will feature a rice cooker, warming drawers and hot-cold wells to offer customizable bases like noodles, brown rice and kale, along with a variety of toppings like edamame, green onions, sauces and more. In this application, the serpentine setup will allow customers to move down the line and pick out their bases and toppings as they go.

Schumaker started working on the Duality concept three years ago after learning about the HX contest. The final design came to fruition this year when he was able to land a fabricator to build it.

Each year, HX’s Foodservice Pioneering Concept contest invites design firms to participate in the creation of unique foodservice venues that can operate in nontraditional locations with limited or no access to gas or ventilation and with limited access to water. Criteria for the selected winner also includes the ability to scale and offer a variety of menu offerings as well as labor savings, use of technology, energy-efficient equipment and more. According to HX, the contest specifically focuses on a concept designed to bring foodservice to lobbies and other public spaces in hotels and resorts to provide customer experiences and that generate loyalty and revenue. Each year’s winner earns the opportunity to be featured at HX’s show through a collaboration between HX, Foodservice Consultants Society International and vendor partners to bring concepts to life as life-sized, working models featured on the show floor.