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A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

LECHON: A whole roasted suckling pig served on paella, garnished with lechon kawali, is one of the main courses at the carving station. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

The massive $47 million renovation at the Crowne Plaza Resort Guam has led to a complete remodel and relaunch of the hotel's flagship food and beverage outlet, allowing The Terrace to open with a very big bang. 

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

HAVE A SEAT: The massive dining room at The Terrace can seat more than 300 diners. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

The Terrace, located near the entrance of the resort, is designed with a large glass-sided dining room so every seat in the house can enjoy the ocean view. The room holds more than 300 guests, with outdoor seating available on the lawn side for those who wish to dine al fresco.

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

CHEF: Executive sous chef Mark Ledesma, center, and his team are providing a luxurious, free-flowing Sunday brunch menu at The Terrace at the Crowne Plaza Resort Guam. From left: Balbino Ollet, chef de cuisine; Samuel Fellone, pastry chef; Mark Ledesma, executive sous chef; Sherwin Tugadi, sous chef; Evaristo Ferido, junior sous chef. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Executive sous chef Mark Ledesma has been part of the organization since the beginning, having joined the Crowne Plaza pre-opening team in 2021. At that time, the executive sous chef was working with chef Gennaro Avagnale, the cluster director for culinary and food and beverage, to develop the Crowne Plaza brand standards for Guam and Saipan as both properties were undergoing the extensive renovations. According to chef Mark, chef Gennaro is now based in Saipan, but the two are in frequent communication to develop the menu and service at the Guam property restaurants.

"We had challenges in organizing the kitchen team, finding enough chefs to execute the menu, because we knew we were going to be making a lot of menu items in-house, from scratch," Ledesma said. "We are making all our breads and pastries daily, along with our pastas, so we needed skilled people in the kitchen."

Ledesma explained that The Terrace, Lobby Bar and Infinity Bar (poolside cocktails) are the three outlets for food and beverage at the hotel. The kitchen team also covers the in-room food requests for guests at the resort. The Terrace is the largest of the three, requiring 49 kitchen staff and just about as many front-of-house crew members. The Terrace offers two small private rooms, each with seating for eight and an ocean view. A large function room is made available for no extra charge, but with a minimum number of guests required. The Lobby Bar and Infinity Bar have their own menus, featuring comfort food such as burgers, hot sandwiches and rice bowls.

Sunday brunch

"The Sunday brunch is the highlight of week's buffet service, it's our luxury luncheon, which includes free-flowing sparkling wines and a dedicated station featuring made-to-order bellinis," said Ledesma. Bellinis are the famed Italian cocktails made with sparkling wine mixed with fruit puree.

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

WHERE'S THE BEEF?: Prime rib roast is available at the carving station during the Sunday Brunch at The Terrace. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Chef Mark Ledesma and his team must quickly convert the early breakfast service into the luxury brunch, which offers an expansive menu of more than 100 items. "Each station has a variety of choices, about a dozen desserts, 10 types of house-made bread, a selection of salads, seafood on ice, and nearly a dozen main courses, which is separate from the carving and live kitchen service," said Ledesma.

The live kitchen and carving stations alone could be worth the price of admission. A dedicated prime rib carving station, complete with freshly made Yorkshire pudding, starts the selection, next to which is a dramatically presented whole roasted suckling pig served over paella.

"We roast the pig with the paella so that the drippings from the roast flavor the paella ingredients," said Ledesma. More than a half-dozen sauces and condiments are served with the roasts. "Overall, it's a huge selection," said Ledesma, laughing.

The live kitchen service, adjacent to the carving stations, features an egg station and ramen station, both of which are made to order. The featured menu at the live kitchen service rotates, sometimes featuring house-made pasta and ravioli.

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

TUNA TRUMPET: Tuna mousse in parmesan cornet is one of the tasty items in the appetizer section. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post


The appetizer section is extensive, with a choice of artfully created canapes, a cheese board and charcuterie section and a selection of seafood including oysters on the half shell and sashimi. The pizza, which is one of the signature dishes, is influenced by chef Gennaro Avagnale, a native Italian. The bombolone (Italian filled doughnuts) and gelato stations also suggest influence by the Italian chef.

Save room for dessert

"Our gelato station is served the Italian way, with croissants, brioche roles and the bombolone, the gelato is served in different vessels," Ledesma said.

Chefs at the live gelato station have to keep up a solid pace making the waffle cones and bowls on the spot to satisfy the customer demand. The bombolones and breads are also cut, filled and topped to order at the same station.

A ‘luxury luncheon’ awaits all at Crowne Plaza’s The Terrace

I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM: Waffle cones are made on the spot at the gelato station at The Terrace Sunday Brunch. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

"The reason we're doing this is for our customers and we take customer evaluation very seriously," said Ledesma. "We are trying to deliver honest food here, our mantra is 'how do we improve our food and service?'"