This September will mark four years of my career at Chandelier Restaurant here in Jackson, and I’ve enjoyed every minute, from my first years as a server to my recent promotion to fine dining assistant manager. Chef Jennifer Dickerson opened this fine dining spot in 2015, and I know the entire community would agree that it has raised the bar for our city’s cuisine. Whether it’s the regulars coming for their staple drinks, a couple enjoying a date night with a big-city feel, or a large business group impressing out-of-town guests, the people who walk in our doors are constantly filled with awe at what Jennifer has created, and now that she’s launched her new menu, I can’t wait to see what they think now.
Jennifer launched her new collection of dishes in late July, and while she has enjoyed every menu Chandelier has released, this one is her favorite. Jennifer describes Chandelier’s cuisine as “sexy Southern,” and when you glance the menu’s mention of fried green tomatoes and cornbread alongside ingredients such as candied citrus walnuts and cucumber-shallot vinaigrette, you’ll understand what she means. Her recent menu’s inspiration was rooted in season, beauty, texture, and color, and with her twenty-five years of experience, she never stops seeking innovation.
But a fine dining experience isn’t complete without the perfect wine pairing, and that’s where Dave Flashner comes in. With twenty years of experience, the man is a wine god, and he and Jennifer make a great team choosing wine. While Jennifer chooses strictly for food pairings, Dave brings a vast knowledge of grapes, from their origin and region all the way down to appellation and the very vineyard in which they were picked. But if the two of them don’t agree on a wine, it doesn’t go on the list, and that ensures that Chandelier continues to have the best wine list in Jackson.
For those who prefer a cocktail to a glass of wine, bartender Wendy Graham has just the thing for you. From song lyrics and landscapes to herbs and feelings, her inspiration is vast, and the entire staff agrees that Chandelier wouldn’t be what it is without Wendy. Recently she submitted her Old Fashioned Velvet in cocktail competition __.
But let’s not forget about the food, the real star of the show. The cooking staff are the experts, but Jennifer makes sure that we servers know each dish like the back of our hands. Shelbi Hasz, for example, has served at Chandelier since its first day and loves the relationship she has with her diverse customers.
“This is home to me,” she tells me, and I smile because the theme of family has been consistent amongst the entire team as I’ve asked them about their individual stories with Chandelier, myself included. I have made relationships in Jackson because of this restaurant, and while it’s clear that our fine dining experience sets us apart, it’s not just that: it’s the community.
I sometimes refer to Jennifer’s food as soul food because she always stays true to the recipe roots. She has a knack for making something amazing out of the most basic ingredients, and the changes she makes are always positive, so I’m confident this new menu will blow us away yet again. The woman is a legend, and no matter what she makes, I am always licking the plate at the end. I’m sure you will, too.
Photographer Jenna Hazelwood’s work is diverse and ranges from head shots to events. Her interest with writing began with Our Jackson Home, and when she isn’t behind the camera, she loves to spend time with her boyfriend, Drew, and their pets, Teddy and Piper.