In the One World kitchen with Chef Neal Plazio


Published February 14, 2022

Chef Neal Plazio.

“Tasting Tuesdays,” running in February though early March at One World Café, offer free samples of the cuisine on the menu, but the weekly afternoon event is also building anticipation for what’s in store once the new international eatery opens its kitchen in the spring.

UB Now reached out to Neal Plazio, UB’s Executive Chef, to talk about the food and what One World diners should expect now that more international fare is being added to their campus options.

As head chef at UB for the past nine years, Plazio oversees a culinary team of seven chefs and chef managers.

Where did you study and train as a chef?

After a short stint as a well site geologist, I went back to school for culinary arts at Baltimore Culinary College. During that​ time, I trained at Marriot hotels and​ Sheraton hotels.

I have been a chef for 30-plus years. I came from hotels, restaurants and my own business.

What are some of the new dishes that will be served at One World?

We have always been focused on flavors. The “Kali Orexi” menu (offering Middle Eastern fare) will include some bold flavors that people will enjoy. The Tandoori chicken will become a real favorite.

What went into creating the One World menu?

For the past seven years, the culinary team has looked at cuisines from around the world. We did “Tour of the World” dining events in the dining halls to gauge response to different cuisines and items. We all spent time dining at restaurants, both locally and out of town. Once the food platforms were identified, we dialed in our recipes.

Did you get input from students about what they wanted?

We spent time with our student advisory board, which has always been instrumental with feedback. They gave us thoughts and ideas for cuisines and dishes. As the concept of One World Café continued to evolve, we brought all the possibilities for platforms to an event. Attendees were able to enjoy some tastes of the world while casting their vote for which cuisines should be represented.

What kind of response are you expecting to the opening of One World?

I know the reaction will be positive. Every time we did a preview event, the​response was good. Everyone likes something new. You can see how the students have taken to the space already.

Are UB students tough food critics?

My wife is a tough critic, but the students and employees are very complimentary. They​ know we work at giving them great food at a good value. I am amazed when I think of the food we have put out and how much I have learned over the years here at UB.

Do you have a favorite item on the new menu?

 I really enjoy the Indian cuisine and look forward to the noodle bowls.

What’s your go-to dish — either for preparing or eating?

I love the Korean tacos with pickled onions at C3.