Platelist: Chef Ken Oringer Brings Global Flavors to Boston


White Castle Among Top Chef's Guilty Pleasures

His wife and two-year-old daughter often join him for meals at one of his restaurants, supplementing the limited time he has to spend with them at home.

"[They] have completely changed my life, because they give me that balance that I think every person needs," he said.

He needed it; Oringer admitted he had "a reputation of being a little tough and demanding. ... When Clio opened 13 years ago, the wait staff would be afraid to come into the kitchen sometimes."

Oringer has earned rave reviews from newspapers and magazines, Michelin stars, and the Best Chef -- Northeast award from the James Beard Foundation. In 2008, he bested Chef Cat Cora on "Iron Chef America."

He is philosophical about online customer reviewers: "You have to take them with a grain of salt. ... Half the people don't know s*** from shinola, and the other half only post negative things because that's the way our society is, unfortunately."

Oringer has eaten -- and cooked -- some of the best food in the world, but admits he has three guilty pleasures.

"Hot dogs -- I can eat a dozen of those," he said. "Any taco on any dirty street corner in Mexico. ... White Castle hamburgers have a very special place in my heart."

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