Born and raised in Albania, Dorjan Puka moved to Connecticut in 1998 seeking new experiences and opportunities. Leveraging his culinary talent and strong work ethic, Puka worked his way up in various kitchens in the region including Vito’s by the Park, Max’s Oyster Bar and Max’s Tavern in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In December of 2010, Puka opened his first solo venture, Treva Restaurant & Bar, an Italian concept in West Hartford. The restaurant was unlike anything in the area and garnered great reviews from The Hartford Courant, Connecticut Magazine and The New York Times. This success was mirrored with his second West Hartford restaurant Àvert Brasserie, which opened three years later in 2013. That same year, Hartford Magazine named Puka one of the top 10 chefs in the region. In November of 2014, Puka opened Artisanal Burger Company in Manchester. Once again, Puka was praised by media and locals alike, this time for his take on America’s beloved hamburger.
Puka’s culinary passion extends beyond the restaurants. He is actively involved with Growing Great Schools, a non-profit community-based organization that helps create healthier schools. When not in his restaurants, Chef Dorjan enjoys traveling with his wife and his two sons.