2003 BEST Chef, General Excellence
Ken Oringer, Clio
Oringer is fast becoming the Tom Hanks of Best of Boston. Oringer has captured the best-chef nod in three of the past four years—and the year he didn’t win, his restaurant, Clio, was named the best in town. It’s not that he’s such an all-around nice guy (which he really is) that makes Oringer the winningest chef in recent memory. It’s that he creates such beautiful food, perfectly balanced in flavor, texture, and proportion. Clio’s French menu impresses at every turn with its Asian influences and emphasis on fresh ingredients, from the cassoulet of lobster and sea urchin with yuzu and Japanese pepper to the entrée of roasted Muscovy duck with kumquats and black radish confit. Oringer’s new pet project, the sashimi bar Uni inside Clio, shows his versatility and talent. And, as anyone who follows awards presentations knows, those qualities separate the winners from the also-rans.