Four years ago, Rob Fox came up with a clever invention that made a tedious task in the kitchen a breeze for his wife, Cindy: A device that lets you cut about two-dozen cherry tomatoes, olives, grapes, and other small fruits at one time and in seconds. The story begins for the Connecticut couple, says Cindy, when Rob, a project manager for a software company, saw her attempting to slice a handful of cherry tomatoes at once with a trick she had seen online. Rob deemed it unsafe, so in his basement workshop with power tools and some wood, he unwittingly came up with a prototype for a gadget that would eventually become the Rapid Slicer ($13). The time-saving tool, in fact, recently earned a spot as a finalist in the Global Innovation Awards for product design from the International Housewares Association. Made from PBA-free plastic, the round base keeps small foods securely inside while the non-slip, rubber feet grip the counter. The lid’s handle protects your hand from the knife as you slice across the middle. The gadget is also useful for shrimp and to cut chicken breasts into cutlets. “We would have never moved forward if we listened to the naysayers,” says Cindy. Available at Tags Hardware, 29 White St., Cambridge, 617-868-7711; Kitchen Outfitters, 342 Great Road, Acton, 978-263-1955; and online at www.bedbathandbeyond.com and www.rapidslicer.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND