Tea Time at Jepson Center

Joe’s at the Jepson hosts Afternoon Tea every third Wednesday of the month

Guests help themselves to some tea time snacks during Afternoon Tea at Joe’s at the Jepson July 21 at the Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts.
It’s tea time!

Within the solace of the tall windows and crisp walls adjacent to the grand staircase within the atrium of Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts is the relaxed dining and casual gourmet eatery, Joe’s at the Jepson.

The café, featuring an evolving artisanal menu inspired by the museum’s permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, offers Afternoon Tea at Joe’s at the Jepson from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month.

After choosing from a variety of teas, guests are served a tower of tea time snacks including smoked salmon finger sandwiches, pelindaba lavender scones, and pastry shells filled with lemon curd and fresh fruit and many more that all taste as good as they look.

“Being in such a magnificent setting as this, we think that the food should be as beautiful as the artwork - it’s just another form of art,” said Joe’s at the Jepson Co-owner Don Holland after sharing the cafe’s tagline: “The art of food.”

click to enlarge Tea Time at Jepson Center
Photo by Bunny Ware
Co-owners Chef Theodore Paskevich and Don Holland celebrate the success of Afternoon Tea at Joe’s at the Jepson July 21 at Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts.
Joe’s has been serving tea at the Jepson Center since Mother’s Day. He said the event was sold out, and it’s been a hit ever since. With that said, if guests plan to join them for the experience, make sure to reserve seats as far in advance as possible.

“We wanted to bring something a little different to the cafe lunching experience for our guests and this was what we envisioned,” Holland said. “We felt like a setting as beautiful as this deserved to have a formal event. We did it with the idea of having a modern elegance. You’re not seeing lots of floral and thin, tiny China tea cups but you’re seeing silver and white and crystal.”

Paired with the elegant presentation are the delicious flavors of the recipes created by the award-winning, self-taught chef and co-owner, Theodore Paskevich. The chef said he creates the menu intentionally. “You make sure that all the flavors are different, but they all marry each other,” Paskevich said. “Like with the sandwiches, you want each sandwich to be different, but you don’t want one to overpower the other so you have a nice delicate pallet for each one.”

Paskevich shared that many of Joe’s menu items remain, just as the quality does, from the menu of he and Holland’s former service location. Joe’s Homemade was located on Waters and 70th, the chef said. Prior to the union of Joe’s Homemade and the Jepson Center, the chef said the team had no intentions to sign a new lease, and instead they would focus on distribution of their homemade goods. Yet, they were recruited by some Jepson Center board members who happened to be regulars and would have hated to see the dining establishment up and go.

Now, they are able to service the public and distribute their products as their bottled goods such as their lemon curd, fig preserve and tomato conserve are sold exclusively at the Telfair Gift Shop.

click to enlarge Tea Time at Jepson Center
Photo by Bunny Ware
Tea time snacks are served during Afternoon Tea at Joe’s at the Jepson July 21 at the Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts.
They use the same products they sell in bulk to make the assortment of delicious tea time goodies meaning that guests can create the tea party, or whatever occasion they desire, back home.

“It is a wonderful adaptation of how the products can be used,” Holland said.

The co-owners shared their appreciation for both the Jepson Center and their guests and hope that such is continuously reciprocated back into their café.

“Both the chef and I and our entire staff consider it an honor to be at this museum,” Holland said. “We want everything we do to be a reflection of this incredible institution. And we hope that our patrons appreciate what we do and that they capture the essence and idea of it.”

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

Brandy Simpkins is a born and raised Savannahian and an alumna of Savannah Savannah State University where she received her B.A. in English Language & Literature. Simpkins enjoys writing more than anything else in the world. She is a curious journalist, an astute essayist, and captivating spoken-word artist...
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