Ken Oringer

Chef

Boston

Ken Oringer has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the United States. But it all started when he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, where he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Following graduation, Oringer worked under chef David Burke at New York’s River Café before he was named pastry chef at Al Forno in Providence, R.I. His next stop was Boston, where he worked at Le Marquis de Lafayette under chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. To enhance his culinary skills and proficiency with American wines, Oringer looked to the West and became chef de cuisine at Silks. In 1997, he returned to Boston to open Clio. In 2002, he added culinary vista of the Far East to his repertoire with the highly lauded sashimi bar Uni in Clio’s lounge. And in 2005, he debuted his Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant, Toro, in Boston’s South End. In September 2013, he opened a second Toro location — this time in New York City.

  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are Ken Oringer's favorite hot spots for food in Barcelona?

    Well now the Adrià brothers have two new places that I am dying to go to — one is called Tickets and one is called 41 Degrees. One is a cocktail/tapas place and the other is a tapas place. So I can’t wait to check those out. There is another one called Dos Pallellos; so it’s two things that are near and dear to my heart. It is a Spanish guy cooking Asian tapas — really funky, Asian-inspired stuff. We love a lot of the classic ones like Quimette & Quimette. Everything comes from a can there. A lot of Americans say “How can you eat there when everything comes from a can?” But it works. They get the best of the best. You’re going to eat some razor clams from a can that are probably better than if they were fresh. Tapas 24 that has a creative mind behind traditional tapas. All the food there is spectacular.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    Which markets does Ken Oringer go to in Paris?

    We go to a lot of different markets. Bastille has a great market; I can’t remember what the days are though. Nowadays, all over Paris there is a great market going on everyday.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    Where does Ken Oringer stay in Paris?

    I stay in the Marais, because fortunately my wife’s parents have an apartment there. Or sometimes we’ll rent a flat there as well. I love L’As du Falafel, which I think is the best falafel anywhere in the world, which is located right behind the apartment. There’s a great little steakhouse called Chez Robert et Louise, which is a really fun place where they cook the steaks right in the fireplace. But you have to make sure that you ask to sit upstairs — they put all the Americans downstairs usually.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are some of Ken Oringer's food highlights in Paris?

    There are two restaurants that, in my opinion, should not be missed in Paris. The first one is Le Comptoir, which is a little tiny place that is literally impossible to get into — they don’t even take reservations and they don’t take walk-ins so I don’t know how people get in. But, for lunch, they take first come, first serve. For dinner I think you have to be staying in the five-room hotel to get reservations. At lunch you just wait it out. The menu is probably 80 items; it’s everything from the best charcuterie to seasonal food that’s spectacular. They opened up a French version of a tapas bar next door, which is standing room only — no seats. Le Comptoir is located right off of Saint Germain and Odeon.

    The second restaurant is called L’Ami Jean, located kind of behind Musée d'Orsay. It has the incredible food and what I think is the best deal, the best cooking for the money in all of Paris.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are the best Latin restaurants in Boston?

    One that I like is Taqueria Cancun in East Boston. They also have a rosticeria, which is separate, where they have roasted chicken and plantains, arepas and pupusas. 
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are Ken Oringer's favorite Latin restaurants in Boston?

    One that I like is Taqueria Cancun in East Boston. They also have a Rosticeria, which is separate, where they have roasted chicken and plaintains, arepas and papusas.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are Ken Oringer's favorite Italian restaurants in Boston?

    There’s a little neighborhood place around the corner from where I live called Giacomo’s that I think is a great deal and it’s a fun place too. I always get chicken piccata with a side order of broccoli rabe with extra garlic and hot pepper. They make homemade grapefruit limoncello that is amazing.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are the best Italian restaurants in Boston?

    There’s a little neighborhood place around the corner from where I live called Giacomo’s [Ristorante] that I think is a great deal and it’s a fun place too. I always get chicken piccata with a side order of broccoli rabe with extra garlic and hot pepper. They make homemade grapefruit limoncello that is amazing.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are the best Italian restaurants in Boston?

    There’s a little neighborhood place around the corner from where I live called Giacomo’s [Ristorante] that I think is a great great deal and it’s a fun place too. I always get chicken piccata with a side order of broccoli rabe with extra garlic and hot pepper. They make homemade grapefruit limoncello that is amazing.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are the best food markets in Boston?

    Sea Market is an amazing market. Ming’s is an amazing market. Blue Ginger I love even though it’s a little bit out of town. H-Mart — that huge Korean market — is spectacular.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are the five best things to see and do in Boston?

    1. That new wing at the MFA, I think is spectacular.

    2. Definitely check out the waterfront, especially the new wharf and also the ICA over there.

    3. The North End. Every time I’m there I think “why don’t I come here more often?”

    4. I think Harvard Square and Harvard really speaks of New England and where we live.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What are Ken Oringer's favorite things do in Boston?

    1. That new wing at the MFA, I think is spectacular.

    2. Definitely check out the waterfront, especially the new wharf and also the ICA over there.

    3. The North End. Every time I’m there I think “why don’t I come here more often?”

    4. I think Harvard Square and Harvard really speaks of New England and where we live.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    What’s the best time to visit Boston?

    Everyone says the fall, but I think that spring is the best. I love it. It’s not a long spring because it’s the beginning of baseball season. I’m a huge Sox fan, so I love the electricity when the Red Sox are doing well and everyone is excited.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    When is the best time to visit Boston according to Ken Oringer?

    Everyone says the fall, but I think that spring is the best. I love it. It’s not a long spring because it’s the beginning of baseball season. I’m a huge Sox fan, so I love the electricity when the Red Sox are doing well and everyone is excited.
  • On October 18, 2012
    Ken Oringer answered the question: Ken Oringer

    Which five Boston restaurants are best for brunch?

    My favorite is going to Chinatown for dim sum. Usually I’ll go to Chow Chow City or Gourmet Dumpling House, which doesn’t necessarily have dim sum but the dumplings are amazing. The scallion pancakes are second to none and the spicy Szechuan fish soup is the best in the city (both at Gourmet Dumpling House).

    East Coast Grill is phenomenal. I love, love, love that place for brunch.