Easter is the only time during the year that The Turtle Restaurant sets out a buffet. Buffets are an easy way to serve a large number of people but there are draw backs from a fresh food perspective. That's why we will have a carving station and an omelette station.
The main draw back of buffets for me is the temptation to overeat. My father used to tell us to eat enough to "get his money's worth." It was a command, I was duty bound to become chubby. I imagine that he still saw these sumptuous spreads through his own child's eye which suffered terribly through considerable poverty, danger and starvation during World War 2 in Europe, so I forgave him. Like everything else in life there are good and bad points about "a way to do things" so we only serve buffet style once a year. It is fun to taste everything.
Wikipedia says "The modern buffet was developed in France in the 18th century, soon spreading throughout Europe. The term originally referred to the sideboard where the food was served, but eventually became applied to the form. The buffet became popular in the English-speaking world in the second half of the nineteenth century."
The "all you can eat" buffet has been ascribed to Herb Macdonald, a hotel manager who introduced the idea in 1946 and was closely connected to LasVegas Casinos. William Pearson wrote in The Muses of Ruin of the buffet:
At midnight every self-respecting casino premières its buffet—the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of.... We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d'oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef's evil eye.
Well...our chef won't give you the evil eye and our spread will be delicious, attractive, perhaps even a bit healthy as we will be serving Pederson's All Natural Ham and eggs supplied by Windy Hill Farms and greens from there as well as Wiley Ranch. We'll tempt you to eat as much as you want, once a year.