Last Bite: Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer

Toro + Ko's co-owners talk about authenticity and going on tour

Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer have made their Dubai debut with Toro + Ko.
Jamie Bissonette and Ken Oringer have made their Dubai debut with Toro + Ko.

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.

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