Chef AnnMarie Nelms
In her own words"When I was a little girl, I loved the excitement of the kitchen, I loved when I got to go to work with my mom, and I would stand by my Thea, (Greek for “aunt”), and watch her preparing astounding food and pastries with passion, care, and love. My mother, Sophia, also learned from Thea and learned her exquisite cooking techniques and recipes. She taught us “you need to put love into it.” After culinary school, I returned and worked at various places including all of my families restaurants, but when the time was right I went to work with my mother in her restaurants and became chef for Sophia’s. Now I am our family’s Thea and in the tradition of both my mother’s and Thea’s passion for food and hard work, I am opening my own restaurant where I want you to feel at home… like you are visiting your own favorite aunt and sitting at her table.
I have created culinary dishes that are unlike any other in the Capital Region. I designed the restaurant to be casual yet upscale. The tables were built by my mother’s partner, Trevor Sybrandt, and are made from trees on his farm. They are rich in their look and unique in their design.
In many of my food creations, I use ingredients grown by Trevor, from seeds on the family farm. We have a private dining space called Thea’s Table which is perfect for families or business groups. The fireplace provides a cozy feeling to the room where natural sunlight streams in during the day and the moon at night.
Thea understands that your dining experience is not just about eating delicious food, but also about superior service. With that in mind our servers have been well trained and our manager, Kim, is warm, hospitable, and professional. With Kim at the front of the house, I can focus on the kitchen and my work as Thea’s chef.
Most important to me is that you experience one of a kind cuisine made with love and passion in a relaxed, comfortable setting.
This restaurant is dedicated to the care and love of my Thea."
Owner / Chef
It Takes A Great Team!
“If you had good food on its own, it’s all you need. The passion and love you put into food- it definitely shows.”
Chef Chad describes himself as a “local boy.” He’s worked at fine dining restaurants in Hershey, Hummelstown’s al Mediterranean, and New Cumberland’s Garlic Poet. Chad says his family has always inspired his cooking starting with his grandparents traditional Slovak-PA Dutch cooking to sitting down with his own young family now.
“My dad had a big family and grandma would feed everyone simple foods that were warm and inviting. I don’t care what we’re eating now… mac and cheese or applesauce, as long as we are eating together.”
Chad loves the warm, comforting family feel to Thea. He brings his charcuterie skills to the kitchen—look for his house-cured salmon, homemade pates and other classic specials.
Warm, friendly, courteous, hard-working, professional, and a keen attention to detail. It's hard to find all of those qualities in one person, let alone an entire waiting staff. You start with those same qualities in management, and together strive to seek out and roster a team like we have at Thea. Our waiting staff has all of those coveted qualities, and they provide yet another reason to keep coming back to Thea. We are very proud and lucky to have them.