Chef TJ Donovan came by his profession naturally. Born in Wilson, NC, TJ first learned about pleasing people with delicious food from his Dad, who ran several restaurants including a popular steak house. After helping out in the family business TJ learned every aspect of the restaurant calling. There were some side roads taken, too, but as TJ says, “Sitting at a desk was not for me. I need to stand in front of a stove.” A professional chef since 2004, what TJ loved most was the “the creativity and artwork” of dreaming up and then making new and interesting dishes, he derived so much pleasure watching people enjoy what he made. TJ passed away unexpectedly in 2016 leaving being a legacy of delicious, beautifully crafted events and dishes that are now created with extra love by his team of dedicated Chefs.
Jill Donovan is a natural-born entrepreneur. She grew up in a family passionate about business; it was the focus of dinner table talk from as early as she can remember. Jill dreamed from her childhood days of owning her own company. Over twenty years ago, she founded Jill’s Beach, the Triangle’s premiere tanning destination, now with multiple locations. When she met her future husband TJ and discovered his exceptional talent in the kitchen, the next step for them was to start Donovan’s Dish. Together, they took the catering world by storm and built a brand synonymous with quality, integrity, and, most of all, passion. As time progressed, Jill realized other opportunities within the Donovan’s Dish brand including Take Out Markets, Dish to Door meal delivery, and her latest endeavor, Donovan Manor, an all-inclusive wedding and Special event venue. At present Jill is happily vested in family, and friends, the community, continuing to grow her companies. She still has those dinner table talks several times a week with her parents and now three daughters.
Jill and TJ started Donovan’s Dish in 2011 (they also started a family that same year; they have three daughters, Jillian, Pressley, and Cameron). The Donovans and their professional team have been working magic ever since.