Ken Oringer
A Chef with an Insatiable Appetite for Knowledge

By Tejal Rao and Heather Sperling

Since 1997 when Chef Ken Oringer opened Clio, he has been reshaping Boston’s culinary landscape with his creative, international culinary outlook. But even before he took Boston by storm, Oringer knew he wanted to be the boss. He began his career with a degree in restaurant management from Bryant College and went on to study at The Culinary Institute of America. Oringer’s insatiable appetite for culinary and business knowledge has taken him across the world and into a range of stellar chefs’ kitchens from Jean-Georges Vongerichten to David Burke. Inspiration has come to Oringer from every possible resource: from the pages of Jacques Pepin’s cookbooks to the years he spent traveling and tasting the restaurants and markets of Spain and Southeast Asia. His menus reflect this global passion; they feature modern techniques as well as exotic ingredients, which Oringer always manages to translate for American diners. No dish is without a story, and no trace of Oringer’s signature ingredients like eucalyptus leaves, Moroccan argon oil, sea urchin or Grain of Paradise is without a thoughtful and delicious pairing.

At Clio, Oringer serves barnacles, a frightening and often inaccessible ingredient to uninitiated American diners, on a stunning hot lava rock. The result reflects Oringer’s unique style: an ultra-sensual dish that gracefully straddles both the exotic and the familiar. After adding a Japanese sashimi bar, Uni, to Clio, and recently opening Toro, a tapas bar in the South End, Oringer has challenged himself and his fellow Bostonians to embrace global culinary trends and techniques. Armed with his favorite tools, a juicer, a blender, and a Thermomix, and a strong team of cooks in each of his three restaurants, Oringer is giving food lovers an initiation into the intimidating world of gastronomic experimentation.


   Published: September 2006