After spending time as the Chef de Cuisine at acclaimed San Francisco dining destination Silks in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Oringer returned to Boston in 1997 to open Clio. Clio was named "Best Newcomer of the Year" by Gourmet magazine and made John Mariani's respected list of "America's Best New Restaurants" in Esquire. The early success of Clio earned Oringer a James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef Northeast four years in a row, ultimately being honored with Best Chef Northeast in 2001. That same year Clio was named one of Gourmet magazine's "Top 50 Restaurants in America."
In 2002, Oringer opened Uni in the lounge of Clio; a sashimi bar offering the freshest seafood from Tokyo's Tskuji market as well as local fisherman. Uni earned four stars from The Boston Herald and in 2008 was selected "Best Sushi Bar" by Boston Magazine. In 2005, Oringer opened Toro in Boston's South End, a Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant influenced from his travels throughout Spain. In 2007, Oringer opened Mexican restaurant La Verdad adjacent to Fenway Park. In April 2008, Oringer stepped into Kitchen Stadium on the Food Network's Iron Chef America where he faced Iron Chef Cat Cora in a coffee battle, ultimately winning by four points.
In November 2009, Oringer together with partner Chef Jamie Bissonnette opened the highly anticipated Coppa, an Italian-style enoteca featuring Italian wines, an experimental cocktail list, and an inventive menu showcasing Oringer's fearlessness with ingredients and his drive to constantly take risks. Coppa was awarded 3 stars by The Boston Globe and has earned both local and national attention since its debut honorable mention in John Mariani's 2010 list of "Best New Restaurants" in Esquire magazine.
In 2010, Oringer garnered the Star Chefs Rising Stars Mentor Award for his dedication to teaching and inspiring the next generation of chefs. In 2011, he opened Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine, which was met with critical acclaim. This year, Ken will bring his popular Spanish tapas bar Toro to New York City. When he is not working, Oringer spends his time at home with his wife Celine, daughter Verveine and son, Luca.