Chef Jim Shannon brings tradition and creativity together at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains each Thanksgiving. Serving more than 250 dinners that day each year, the Plaza has a Thanksgiving Buffet. Seatings are every 30 minutes to allow dinner patrons flexibility with their schedule.
A Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, Shannon likes to use local ingredients as much as possible. His stations include everything from the traditional turkey with sausage and sage stuffing to honey glazed ham to braised short ribs and black roasted cod.
We try to do different things, but things people are familiar with, he said. Shannon rattled off a number of culinary delights including pan seared pork medallions, green bean casserole, cabbage with champagne.
Although most of the buffet is done in house, Shannon uses local pastry shops for cakes and pies. He said he believes in using the best ingredients and best from the local area to provide a buffet that is unique. He says that buffets have had their ups and downs over the years with the Thanksgiving buffet serving some 700 at the height of popularity.
With experience at restaurants and hotels in South Florida, San Diego and Beverly Hills, Shannon came to New York as the Sous Chef at the Rye Town Hilton before becoming head chef at Crowne Plaza. He stays current by continuing to train whenever possible, recently taking a taste of the world program in California.
With holiday buffets so competitive, Shannon pulls out all the stops to make the Crowne Plazas buffet truly unique. He invites everyone to try the local delicacies and marvel at the ice carvings, such as a cornucopia filled with fruits.
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