Following high school graduation, Djozlija furthered his training at the highly regarded Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, NY. Before graduating in 1988, he completed an externship in Maui at the popular Leilani’s on the Beach and moved back to Michigan shortly thereafter to help a friend open Ginopolis in Rochester. Eager for change, Djozlija headed west to Las Vegas in 1990 to become the Banquet Chef at the Las Vegas Hilton.
After two years in Las Vegas, Djozlija joined forces with Chef Wolfgang Puck to open Puck’s famed Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s. This opening is credited with sparking the fine dining revolution that continues in the city today. After spending eight years cooking at Spago, he developed his culinary techniques, creative style and management skills to achieve the title of Chef de Cuisine in 2000.
Chef Djozlija then continued his career with Wolfgang Puck as the Executive Chef of Cili at Bali Hall Golf Course, moving on to the Corporate Catering Chef for Puck’s Private Dining company, and in 2004 he was chosen as the Executive Chef to open the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill at MGM Grand Las Vegas.
After leaving his mark in Las Vegas, Djozlija headed to Atlantic City to open Chef Puck’s first venture on the east coast, the Wolfgang Puck American Grille. Here he utilized his years of experience to create menus for dining areas that ranged from casual to upscale.
After spending 17 years away from Detroit, Djozlija returned home to open the Wolfgang Puck Grille at MGM Grand Casino where he managed and developed menus for multiple outlets featuring casual and sophisticated fine dining at Wolfgang Puck Grille, Wolfgang Puck Cucina, and Wolfgang Puck Steak.
After being back in his hometown, Djozlija realized that the city was undergoing intense transformation and wanted to use his years of experience to contribute to the growth of Detroit. Joining forces with friend and business partner, Dave Kwiatkowski, the two developed a vision for a gathering place, a place to spend time before a game or for a night out with friends.
In July of 2014 Wright and Company was born. Drawing from his travels and versatile styles of cooking, Djozlija created an American contemporary small plates menu that utilizes seasonal ingredients, highlights quality techniques, and serves up innovative cuisine alongside some of the city’s finest craft cocktails. After the success of Wright and Company, Djozlija and Kwiatkowski have continued to open innovative and unique properties in Detroit such as Café 78 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Peterboro in Detroit’s historic Chinatown.
In the midst of Wright and Company’s success, Djozlija was nominated for the “Best Chef- Great Lakes Region” James Beard award in 2015.
In his spare time Djozlija enjoys golfing and dedicates his time to fundraising efforts for the Michigan Humane Society with his wife Laura Hughes.