Last Bite: Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer
Toro + Ko's co-owners talk about authenticity and going on tour
You’re both based in the US. How often will you make it out to Dubai?
JB: A few times a year. Hopefully more. I love Dubai.
KO: A few times a year.
How would you describe the food scene in Dubai?
JB: Dubai is so worldly. There’s great food from everywhere. It’s amazing to see so much variety from Ethiopia, Sudan, Pakistan, and India.
KO: It’s the most diverse in terms of cuisine that I’ve seen in a long time.
Why was The Square the right location for Toro + Ko?
JB: It’s perfect, because it’s a good mix of new, and fun. Great things to do, and great restaurants to draw people in.
KO: I love to invest in upcoming areas in great cities.
The menu features Spanish flavours. How authentic is the cuisine?
JB: Toro is a Barcelona-inspired restaurant. We like to have some tradition, and some innovation.
KO: We respect tradition but we also encourage creativity with Barcelona-inspired dishes.
Was it challenging to source the ingredients you need?
JB: There are so many things in Dubai, if we couldn’t get something we use in the States, there was always an easy substitute locally.
KO: Nope. Dubai has anything available from all over the world.
What are the standout dishes?
JB: I’m stoked for the paella, seafood a la plancha and the tortilla.
KO: For me the standout dishes are the uni spoon, the paella and the octopus.
If you weren’t a chef, what other career would you have chosen?
JB: I would have loved to be in a band, touring, travelling and playing music around the world.
KO: I think I would either be an architect or a designer.
What are you working on next?
JB: Next, I want to take some time to travel, and be inspired for what gets thrown at us next.
KO: I’m looking for new opportunities and always willing to travel.