Chef Ken Oringer of Toro NYC - Biography

New York, NY

September 2015

As a kid, Ken Oringer knew he wanted to be a chef. He set about making that happen once he headed to Bryant College, where he earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management, and then The Culinary Institute of America.

Oringer’s first kitchen job was at Brooklyn’s famed River Café, working with Chef David Burke. He then moved to incubator of great chefs Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, where he befriended a Cambodian cook who gave him an insider’s tour of the flavors of Southeast Asia. Oringer continued to learn how to adapt Asian ingredients at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Le Marquis de Lafayette in Boston and as chef de cuisine at Silks at the Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco. After five years, and trips abroad to Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Spain, and Argentina, Oringer decided the time was right to open a restaurant.

In 1997, Oringer opened Clio in Boston to rave reviews. In 2001, he took home James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northeast.” He expanded Clio in 2002 to include Uni, a sashimi bar offering the freshest seafood. Next came Barcelona-style tapas bar Toro, the Mexican restaurant La Verdad, and KO Prime in Hotel Nine Zero. In 2009, Oringer and Chef Jamie Bissonette opened Coppa, an Italian style enoteca. In 2013, Oringer opened a New York-outpost of Toro, which earned two stars from The New York Times.