Chef Renato Mekolli Biography (Albania)

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Discover the culinary journey of Chef Renato Mekolli, an Albanian culinary maestro renowned for his gastronomic creations. From his humble beginnings to international recognition, explore the life and passion of this talented chef. Learn about his innovative techniques, signature dishes, and the influence of Albanian cuisine on his culinary style. Immerse yourself in the world of Chef Renato Mekolli and savor the flavors of his remarkable culinary legacy.


Chef Renato Mekolli is an Albanian-born chef who has made a name for himself in the culinary world. Born on March 29, 1984, in Tirana, Albania, Renato’s love for food started at a very young age, and he pursued his passion by studying culinary arts. Today, he is a renowned chef who has worked in some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, and his cooking style is a reflection of his roots and his travels. This biography will take a closer look at Chef Renato Mekolli’s life, career, and accomplishments.

Early Life and Education

Renato Mekolli was born in Tirana, the capital city of Albania. He was the second of three children born to his parents, who were both teachers. Growing up, Renato was always interested in food and cooking. He would often help his mother in the kitchen, and by the time he was a teenager, he was already experimenting with different recipes on his own.

After completing his high school education, Renato enrolled at the Albanian Tourism and Hospitality College, where he studied culinary arts. During his time at the college, he had the opportunity to work at some of the best restaurants in Tirana, and this experience helped him to develop his skills as a chef.


After graduating from culinary school, Renato worked at a number of restaurants in Albania, including the famous Sofra e Ariut. However, he knew that if he wanted to take his career to the next level, he would need to gain experience working in other countries.

In 2008, Renato moved to London, where he started working at the Michelin-starred restaurant, The Ledbury. This was a turning point in his career, as it gave him the opportunity to work with some of the world’s best chefs and learn new techniques and cooking styles. During his time at The Ledbury, Renato worked his way up from commis chef to chef de partie, and he played a key role in the restaurant being awarded its second Michelin star.

In 2012, Renato moved to New York, where he started working at Per Se, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Thomas Keller. This was another important milestone in Renato’s career, as it gave him the opportunity to work in one of the most prestigious kitchens in the world. During his time at Per Se, Renato worked as a sous chef, and he was responsible for managing the kitchen and ensuring that the restaurant maintained its high standards.

In 2015, Renato returned to Europe, where he started working at Noma, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was a unique opportunity for Renato, as Noma is known for its focus on Nordic cuisine and foraged ingredients. During his time at Noma, Renato worked as a chef de partie, and he was responsible for creating new dishes and contributing to the restaurant’s menu.

In 2018, Renato decided to return to Albania, where he opened his own restaurant, Oda. The restaurant is located in Tirana and is known for its innovative cuisine that blends traditional Albanian flavors with modern techniques. Since opening, Oda has received critical acclaim and has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in Albania.


Renato Mekolli’s career has been marked by numerous accomplishments and awards. Some of his notable achievements include:

  • Working at some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, including The Ledbury, Per Se, and Noma.
  • Playing a key role in The Ledbury being awarded its second Michelin star.
  • Opening his own restaurant, Oda, in Tirana, Albania.


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