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Aldo Velaj
Aldo Velaj – Mediterranean, Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant Boston
Aldo Velaj was born and raised in Vlora, Albania where his love for Mediterranean cuisine developed under his mother’s apron strings. With the help of his mother at a very young age, Aldo trained his taste buds to recognize inspired and innovative tastes that would eventually intrigue guests of his restaurant.

The first taste he vividly remembers is that of olive oil, oranges and legumes. “Besides playing with my friends, food was one of the biggest pleasures for me as a child. I still remember the smell of oranges in season; it was breathtaking. Coming home from school to smell my parents cooking was comforting. They would prepare food with vegetables of the season. It was always worth the wait,” comments Aldo.

At the age of 16, Aldo started working in the kitchens of local restaurants in Vlora. At 20, he moved to Southern Italy to master the secrets of Italian cooking. Aldo has almost 15 years of culinary experience while cooking in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Aldo Velaj’s culinary career began with a two year study at La Vita Vera Cooking School in Lecce, Italy. Since his departure from the institute, Velaj has served as chef in restaurants throughout Italy, Greece and Europe. Velaj brings to Vlora his unique cooking styles from his years of travel and hopes to introduce dishes from his homeland. Prior to his arrival in Massachusetts in 2003, Aldo Velaj was proprietor of a restaurant Tirana, Albania.

Aldo’s vision for Vlora is to introduce Bostonians to authentic Mediterranean cuisine where the foods are characterized by a minimalist approach to cooking with the emphasis on the taste of the fresh ingredients and not masked with rich sauces, strong spices and heavy fats. Vlora will serve true Mediterranean dishes that are naturally healthy that make no compromises on taste.

Vlora, Aldo’s creation, is introducing a new way to prepare fresh, whole grain and low glysemic foods. Since dining together as a family was such a huge part of Velaj’s upbringing, Vlora will feature a unique dining atmosphere that appeals to everyone, including families.