New Jackson restaurant adds life to historic downtown building
JACKSON, Tenn. — One of Jackson’s newest locally owned restaurants can be found in one of the Hub City’s oldest buildings.
Chandelier Cafe & Cater opened in September of 2015 inside the Neely House at 575 South Royal Street. In fact, it was the old hotel that Executive Chef Jennifer Dickerson fell in love with first. “I was taken away the moment I saw it,” Dickerson recounted. She said the foyer took her breath away.
Dickerson said she first came to Jackson to consult for a local coffee shop that was considering some menu additions. The owner brought her to the Neely House to use the kitchen. “Almost within the day, we had signed the paperwork and decided that we were coming here,” Dickerson said. About a year later, Chandelier served its first customer.
Dickerson has never been to culinary school but considers herself a “hands-on” trained chef. She has earned her stripes working the lines and leading the kitchens for some of Memphis’ most renowned chefs.
When creating a menu, Dickerson strives for her food to be fresh, light and happy. She also tries to include as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, though she admits finding organic products in Jackson can be difficult. She splits her time between Jackson and Memphis and often picks up ingredients before heading east on I-40 every weekend.
This chef wants what she puts on the plate to be art that engages all of the senses. She says her style has been described as “sexy, Southern cooking.” “It’s kind of silly, but it’s the truth,” Dickerson said. “We try to do comforting Southern food with a little bit of elegance.”
A night out at Chandelier can cost upward of $50 per person depending on your number of courses and whether you visit the restaurant’s bar. But Dickerson believes a night out in her restaurant includes more than just dinner and drinks. “We want you to come in and be relaxed and comfortable and get an experience you can’t get anywhere else,” she declared.
Dickerson spends most of her time in the kitchen, while her partner, Mac Edwards, usually works the front of the house. He can often be found greeting diners and checking in with them throughout their meal.
If you’re curious about how Dickerson and Edwards came up with the name for the restaurant, Dickerson said it comes from her obsession with the lighting fixtures. It’s a passion you can see through her photography collection that decorates the restaurant.
To learn more about Chandelier Cafe & Cater or to make a reservation, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.