Mullixhiu Restaurant in Tirana is one of the top restaurants in Albania that offers fine dining, great hospitality and family warmth that honors the tradition and values of the great Chef Bledar Kola. Famous photographer Ilir Rizaj has captured the sophisticated yet relaxed warmth of the Mullixhiu restaurant during his recent trip in Albania.
“I have had the pleasure of meeting Chef Bledar Kola two years ago when I visited him in Albania. I learned about him and his culinary talents on social media. I was very much impressed with his new restaurant Mullixhiu in Tirana that he opened in March of 2016. It is such a unique concept that integrates real mills, fresh baking on premises, innovative dishes that re-interpret Albanin cuisine with utmost love and respect. The setting itself is absolutely gorgeous, a real visual feast, raw and warm. It was love at first sight, I had to photograph it.
When I arrived, I left my tripod in my nephew’s car. This happenstance showed how loved Chef Bledi is, he made one phone call, and a photographer friend Armand Habazaj brought us his tripod within minutes. Not only I got to take my shots, I also met a talented fellow photographer with whom I had a pleasant chat about our craft. And now I don’t even need to bring a tripod when I visit Tirana again.
Chef Bledi certainly matches his talent with his kind personality. His staff admires and respects him, his guests are enthralled with him and his culinary creations.
Before I photographed the place, I was also treated to his cooking. Every dish was a delicious treat and a visual journey. The whole experience was that famous Albanian hospitality at its best.” (Ilir Rizaj)
Ilir Rizaj is a well-known professional architectural photographer based in NY. Originally from Kosova, he started his love affair with photography as a teenager in Prishtina, when he took a course in photography. Since moving to NY in 1988, he had a chance to photograph actors, models, art, and architecture. The latter captured his imagination, and ultimately became the main focus of his photography. His clients include architects, interior designers, hotel, restaurants and luxury real estate companies. His photographs have been published in the US, Israel, United Kingdom, Switzerland etc.
Ilir Rizaj is particularly proud of his extensive collaboration with Albanian architects such as Përparim Rama of 4M Group in London; Sokol Malushaga of Ari Group in New York; and Ilir Murseli of Murseli Architects+Partners and M. Koca of Nartel Corporation in Prishtina.