Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, two prolific Boston chefs responsible for leading some of the city’s hottest restaurants of the past two decades, are calling it quits on their 15-year business partnership.
As the Boston Globe first reported, Oringer and Bissonnette are going their separate ways, effective immediately. Oringer will assume sole ownership of the four restaurants that fell under the duo’s JK Food Group umbrella: Beloved South End spots Toro and Coppa, Central Square hotspot Little Donkey, and Faccia a Faccia on Newbury Street. Bissonnette is walking away from the group completely to start a new local project.
In an email with Eater, Bissonnette declined to share details on his future plans at this time. “I take pride in all of the shared goals and accomplishments that we, along with the JK Food Group teams, have achieved over the last 15-plus years,” Bissonnette said in a statement. “I am excited to see what the future holds for the group.”
Along with running the group’s four restaurants, Oringer is moving forward with plans to launch Verveine Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge later this fall, in partnership with award-winning pastry chef Monica Glass. “We had an incredible run together,” Oringer said in a statement. “[Bissonnette] is incredibly talented and I’m excited to cheer him on as he explores new projects and opportunities.”
The pair first started working together when Bissonnette became the executive chef of Oringer’s now-closed steakhouse KO Prime in 2007. They went on to run Coppa, Little Donkey, and Toro (in both Boston and NYC) together, racking up local and national industry awards along the way. Both have snagged James Beard’s Best Chef: Northeast honor (Oringer in 2001; Bissonnette in 2014) and Food & Wine dubbed Bissonnette the people’s choice for the country’s best new chef in 2011.