Meet Chef Jill Aker-Ray

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"It's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together!"

Chef Jill has been answering the question of "What's for Dinner?" since 2008, when she began her passion of bringing families back around the dinner table to enjoy good food and conversation in their own homes. By becoming a personal chef, she has been able to help people eat fresh, flavorful food and help them make fun memories through special events, dinner and theme parties, cooking classes and vacations. She is easy to work with, flexible and passionate about helping you achieve your food goals or special event vision. She insists on client satisfaction every time!  She is Servsafe Certified and a premier member of the United States Personal Chef Association since 2010.

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Vacation Chef, Jill Aker-Ray combines her love of cooking with her love of travel.  Chef Jill has studied cooking all over the world, from Tuscany and Barcelona to New Orleans and Charleston. 

Since launching ‘What’s for Dinner?’ Personal Chef Services Chef Jill has served up everything from small dinners for busy couples to large gatherings. One of the most memorable was working on the cooking crew for a private 150-fan dinner for the Zac Brown Band tour.  

As a vacation chef, she helps improve the vacation experience for families by giving them the time to enjoy their surroundings without the added stress or time having to shop, plan, prep or cook.

The experienced TV chef has made appearances from North Carolina to Texas. Chef Jill has been a regular contributor on the lifestyle program ‘Charlotte Today’ since 2010. The show airs on the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, NC. She was a featured presenter at the United States Personal Chef Association’s National Conference, teaching other chefs how to build a media presence, as well as a panelist/presenter at The Orlando Food and Wine Conference.

Chef Jill has also represented Food Lion and The Fresh Market as the Spokesperson/Chef/Brand Ambassador in on-air cooking segments and in store demonstrations, as well as media tours.

A favorite with the crowds, she is a recurring presenter on the cooking stage at the annual Southern Ideal Home Show and Southern Spring Home and Garden Show. Chef Jill is working on her first cookbook.

She lives in Charlotte with her husband, a retired pilot, and their Great Dane, Luna, with whom she occasionally shares a giant bowl of buttered popcorn.


"Not only are Chef Jill’s meals absolutely mouth-watering, healthy and delicious, but her prices are wonderful! ...It's so nice to come home to a nice, warm, healthy dinner, without having to cook ourselves, or go back out and wait in line at a restaurant...How much better it was to open the door at the designated time (our choosing) and to see Jill’s smiling face with a fresh, hot and delicious meal for us, which we knew had been prepared with only the freshest ingredients! ...I highly recommend Chef Jill for both her excellent culinary skills and her warm and friendly service!"

/ Crystal Day Desch  /

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Cooking stage at Southern Ideal Home Show

Speaker + Panelist regarding tv for the personal chef and blogger at orlando food and wine conference

Brand ambassador for The Fresh Market on WBTV / FOX (Good Day) Charlotte & Dallas / WFMY Greensboro

Featured articles in uspca magazine
2015 and 2017 

Presenter of "Lights, Camera, Action" Class at National Uspca conference, San antonio, Tx

Presentations at the United States Personal Chef Association

runner for Executive Chef of Zac Brown Band during Charlotte Tour
September 2015

Demo chef for Chefs USA, REPRESENTING harris teeter + Fresh Market

Started Vacation Chef business

Attended Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, GA

Started "What's for dinner?"




"Jill is my go to chef for any parties I host.  From book club to a going away party, she has never let me down.  My guests always rave about the food and I can concentrate on the party, not on the cooking. Her prices are completely reasonable and she delivers!  I cannot recommend her enough!  I've also had her cook dinner for my family and even my picky kids eat what she cooks."

/  Jen Lancaster  /