Neal F. Plazio, CEC
Executive Chef, UB Campus Dining & Shops
(716) 645-5013, Cell: (716) 374-0488
Chef Neal Plazio has been in the Food & Beverage business for over forty years, though he originally took his bachelors degree in Geology and worked in the oilfields of the western US. After lay-off in the mid ’80, he got back into the restaurant business and graduated from Baltimore International Culinary College.
Currently Chef Plazio is the Executive Chef with UB Campus Dining & Shops where he oversees six chefs in three dining centers, retail operations and catering.
Previously he owned The Chef’s Table which was an in-home personal chef business and restaurant for eleven years. Also in that time, Chef Plazio taught Culinary Arts at ECC as an adjunct professor. Prior to The Chef’s Table, he was with Kincaid’s Steak & Chop House of Minnesota, Chef of E.B. Green’s Steakhouse and Executive Chef of Beaver Hollow Conference Center.
Dean V. Messina
Director of Dining Services, Faculty Student Association at SUNY Fredonia
University Commons 225A, Fredonia NY 14063
(716) 680-6268, Cell: (716) 467-0233
Dean has been a Corporate Chef and Director of Dining Services in the Faculty Student Association at SUNY Fredonia for over 20 years. He received a Culinary Arts Degree at Johnson & Wales University, has been a sous chef at Omni Hotel in Charleston SC, and was an executive chef at both The White Inn in Fredonia NY and Brierwood Country Club in Hamburg NY. He is also a two-time American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal Winner in team competitions.
On campus he has had the pleasure to cook for World Famous Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Kennedy Jr., Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning Playwright Tony Kushner, former President of the Polish Republic Lech Walesa, Grammy Award Winning Violinist Isaac Stern. As a Sous Chef at the Omni Hotel, he was part of a culinary team that cooked for Prince Charles, Lee Iacocca, Donald Trump, the NY Knicks Basketball Team, Governor Bill Clinton when he was running for President, Singer Patti LaBelle, South African Social Rights Activist Desmond Tutu and President George H.W. Bush.
James M. Webb
Executive Chef, Bistro Dining Hall at SUNY Cortland
8 Pashley Drive, Cortland NY 13045
Running a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art college dining facility isn’t easy, but for senior Executive Chef James Webb, it’s just another day in the kitchen! Since 2010, the Johnson & Wales graduate -- class of ’97! -- has been an integral part of the culinary team for the Auxiliary Services Corporation of SUNY Cortland in central New York State.
Over the past 20 years, Jim has worked for several well-known restaurants across the U.S., including “Legal Seafood” in Boston, “Café Pacific”, in Dallas, TX, and a hotel or two along the way.
In 2004, he bought a community-favorite restaurant, “Footprints on the Lake”, in New York’s scenic Finger Lakes region, managing staff and product, teaching front-of-house and back-of-house basics, planning menus and recipes, balancing budgets, and occasionally getting the chance to nap!
Throughout 2014, Jim was tasked with planning, equipping, and implementing “The Bistro” dining hall on the SUNY Cortland campus. Amazingly, he also had time to help engineer an employee-based training program called the “Culinarian Boot Camp”, where employees learn comprehensive culinary basics over the course of a very intensive week.
In his copious spare time, this Executive Chef is also an advisory committee member for the local Onondago-Cortland-Madison county BOCES Culinary Arts Program, helping high school students become culinary experts of the future.
Richard E. Reynolds
Executive Chef & Assistant Director of Dining Services, Auxiliary Service Corporation at SUNY Brockport
350 New Campus Drive, Brockway Hall, Brockport NY 14420
Chef Richards’ career spans almost five decades. A graduate of the C.I.A. class of ’76, he has plied his craft for a number of prestigious Country Clubs, Hotels, Private Restaurants and was Director of Education at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. While at the Restaurant School, Chef Richard taught both Pastry and Culinary Arts and lectured on a wide variety of subjects such as business law, culinary French, menu writing, nutrition and the various classical cooking techniques. He also lead groups of culinary and pastry arts students on culinary tours of France. In 2002 Chef Richard attained C.E.C. certification. Currently Chef Richard is the Campus Executive Chef and Assistant Director of Dining Services at the College at Brockport.
Executive Chef, Campus Auxiliary Services at SUNY Geneseo
1 College Circle, Geneseo NY 14454
Ilana started her career in food at age 14 in a small bagel shop in Syracuse, NY. It was there and then that she gained her passion for food and hospitality. She spent the largest amount of her time working for the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, an Upstate NY staple and scratch kitchen. She spent half of her career, which has now spanned 20 years, in the front of the house as the General Manager of 3 restaurants. She made her transition to Executive Chef in the back of the house full time in 2012 when she opened a small restaurant called Six50 Black Oven Cooking. She joined the CAS team at Geneseo in 2016 and has plans to continue honing her culinary skills here. She has competed in 3 American Culinary Federation competitions, receiving a silver in each. She is currently completing her chef certification which will make her a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) by summer 2018. She is very close with her family and appreciates the work-life balance that CAS offers. Ilana plans on continuing to grow in her culinary career and looks forward to what the future brings.