Even as a child, Bissonnette was drawn to the kitchen, eschewing cartoons for cooking shows on the Discovery Channel. With this early start, he earned his culinary arts degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale by 19 and spent his early 20s eating and cooking his way through Paris, San Francisco, New York, and Phoenix. Bissonnette settled in Boston and began working in some of the city’s most notable kitchens, including Peking Tom's, Pigalle, Andy Husband's Tremont 647, and Kenmore Square behemoth Eastern Standard.
Bissonnette’s comfort with a full range of international cuisines and culinary techniques has made him a key player in several Ken Oringer restaurants. In 2007, Oringer asked Bissonnette to head up the kitchen at KO Prime at the Nine Zero Hotel. For his work, the Improper Bostonian named Bissonnette “Rising Star Chef” and KO Prime “Best New Restaurant.”
After a successful two-year turn at KO, Oringer asked Bissonnette to open his Spanish small plates restaurant Toro, where he earned a 2009 StarChefs.com Boston Rising Star. Striking while the iron is hot, the duo opened another small, neighborhood-style spot, Coppa with Italian small plates, house-made pasta, and wood-oven pizza. Bissonnette and Oringer will bring their talents to New York in the fall of 2013, with the opening of a second Toro location in Chelsea.
Bissonnette has been featured in The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, and Edible Boston, among many others, and in 2011 was awarded Food & Wine magazine’s first-ever “People’s Choice Best New Chef.” Bissonnette also was announced as a finalist for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northeast” for the past two years.