Rising Star Chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice - Biography

Chicago, IL

August 2016

Growing up in Lowell Massachusetts, Abraham Conlon’s palate was influenced by his Portuguese heritage and the strong Southeast Asian presence in his community. He began cooking professionally at 15, with his technique blooming under chefs like Jon Mathieson and Franc Giovanni. Conlon continued his training at the Culinary Institute of America while also studying new world cuisine with father of fusion Norman Van Aken. His next stop was Chez Asian Bistro in the Dominican Republic, melding traditional Southeast Asian styles with local ingredients. Returning to the East Coast, Conlon took a leadership role at Augustine’s at Fredericksburg Square in Virginia, where he became the youngest chef to be awarded a Four Diamond rating by AAA.

Next, Conlon moved to Chicago, where he met his future wife and business partner Adrienne Lo. The couple founded X-marx, an underground experience exploring global, home-style cuisines. He gave himself four walls and a home with Fat Rice, a partnership between he and Lo, who runs the front of the house. Fat Rice is Conlon’s return to his Portuguese roots through the lens of traditional Macanese cooking. Since 2013, Conlon has been named a James Beard semifinalist for “Best Chef, Great Lakes,” and Fat Rice has earned recognition from Michelin and Bon App├ętit. In 2015, Conlon earned a StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award. In 2016, Conlon and Lo opened a bakery and bar, The Ladies’ Room, next to Fat Rice, and their cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice hit bookshelves this past fall.