Techniques » Random Plating
Random plating actually requires planning but your guests will think you have the gift of effortless presentation. Peter Ungár from The Dining Alternative shares his experience and tips as he assembles Nantucket bay scallops in yuzu, sea urchin roe, spring vegetable barigoule, choy sum flowers, smoked paprika oil and white cyprus sea salt.
Peter Ungár, began cooking at the age of 17 as an apprentice in one of the two French restaurants in Fort Worth. Chef Phillipe Lecoq of Le Chardonnay Restaurant oversaw his apprenticeship, which was followed by a position as garde manger at Fort Worth's other French restaurant, Saint-Emilion. Peter then attended Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. He was the Teacher’s Assistant for Master Chef Noel Cullen, professor of "Fundamentals in Foodservice Operations" and "Food & Beverage Management." Peter worked with Chef Cullen for four years, who was a Certified Master Chef in both the United States and Europe, as well as President of the American Culinary Federation (1997-2001). Peter moved to France and traveled extensively throughout the wine provinces of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cognac, and Champagne, all of which gave him an intimate sense of how earth and climate affect the character of wine. Peter secured a job at the Relais & Châteaux, Le Chalet du Mont d’Arbois, in Megève, France, where he worked extensively in the kitchen, learning much about French cuisine. Upon returning to the US, Peter immediately took an internship in the kitchens of the Four Seasons Hotel Boston where he worked in every facet of the Four Seasons’ kitchens, which included fine dining (Aujourd’hui), casual dining (Bristol Lounge), and banquet functions. After graduating with a degree in Hospitality Administration, Peter worked for six years in Aujourd’hui, making his way through every station of that kitchen. During his final year at Aujourd’hui, Peter began to cook private dinners. This evolved into The Dining Alternative, which has been successfully operating since 2003 due to its truly unique "fine dining at home" concept. During this time, Peter has also worked in other establishments in order to maintain and enhance his culinary expertise, such as Truly Jörg’s Pâtisserie in Boston, John Dewar’s Butcher Shop in Newton, and Craigie Street Bistrot in Cambridge. In April 2007, Peter assisted Chef Pâtissier Jörg Amsler in the Food Network Challenge Extreme Cake Competition, taking home the Silver Medal. Currently, in addition to directing the services of The Dining Alternative, Peter is a Chef/Instructor at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, teaching a variety of classes.