Boston chef Ken Oringer takes a worldview of cooking. His six Boston restaurants (and another opening in New York) draw inspiration from France (Clio), Italy (enoteca Coppa), Japan (sashimi bar Uni), Mexico (taqueria La Verdad), Spain (tapas bar Toro; now with a branch in New York City), and the good old U.S. of A. (“farm to fork” at Earth at the Kennebunkport, Maine, resort Hidden Pond). Diners may well wonder, is there any cuisine Oringer can’t master?
The answer, most likely, is no. A 2001 James Beard Award-winner for Best New Chef/Northeast, Oringer and his restaurants consistently appear on “best of” lists, from Boston Magazine to Gourmet to Esquire and beyond. He’s a competitor, besting chef Cat Cora on Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2008. And he’s a teacher, receiving the Star Chefs Rising Stars Mentor Award in 2009, for his continued support of young cooks and the development of their careers.
Having graduated from a business administration curriculum (from Bryant College, in Rhode Island) and from the Culinary Institute of America, Oringer is hands-on in both the business and the culinary sides of his restaurants. Highlights of his early cooking career included working at New York’s River Café, with chef David Burke; at Al Forno, in Providence; and at Le Marquis de Lafayette, under Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
But since 1997, when he opened Clio, Oringer has called his own shots, along with his crew of talented chefs, bringing a world of flavors to Boston.