Rising Star Chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice - Biography

Chicago, IL

August 2016

Growing up in Lowell, Massachusetts, Abraham Conlon’s palate was infl uenced by his Portuguese heritage and a robust Southeast Asian community. He began cooking professionally at 15, with his technique blooming under Chefs Jon Mathieson and Franc Giovanni. Conlon continued his training at the Culinary Institute of America while also studying new world cuisine with 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 future business partner Adrienne Lo. The duo founded X-marx, an underground popup exploring global home cooking. He and Lo opened brick-and-mortar Fat Rice in 2012, marking Conlon’s return to his Portuguese roots through the lens of traditional Macanese cooking. Since 2013, Fat Rice has earned recognition from Michelin and Bon App├ętit. In 2015, Conlon earned a StarChefs Rising Stars Award. In 2016, Conlon and Lo opened an adjoining bakery and bar, The Ladies’ Room, and their cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice, hit bookshelves the same year. After three nominations, Conlon won James Beard’s “Best Chef, Great Lakes” in 2018, and he took up residence at Chefs Club in New York this fall