Chef Conlon’s bold and vibrant global cuisine is a reflection of his Azorean-Portuguese heritage and deep-dive travels where he explores historic foodways and culinary traditions. Together with business partner Adrienne Lo, Chef Conlon opened Fat Rice in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 2012. The menu of this acclaimed restaurant explores the varied cuisines of the Portuguese speaking world with an emphasis on Macau, China. There, historic trade-routes enriched heritage recipes that combine techniques and ingredients from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, Malaysia, India, China and Japan.
In 2016, Conlon and Lo opened two adjoining concepts at Fat Rice in Chicago, The Bakery at Fat Rice, a daytime café serving Portuguese and Asian Pastries, and The Ladies’ Room, an intimate craft cocktail den inspired by the Chinese gambling halls and red light districts of early 20th century Macau. Also in 2016, Conlon and Lo published their cookbook The Adventures of Fat Rice (Ten Speed Press), which is a compilation of vibrant recipes that showcase Conlon’s take on historic Macanese cuisine during the first two years at Fat Rice.
Chef Conlon, Fat Rice and his adjoining concepts have been recognized with the following honors since opening in 2012: The James Beard Foundation Award Best Chef: Great Lakes 2018, StarChefs: “Rising Star” 2015, Jean Banchet Award (Chicago) for Restaurant of the Year 2015, Bon Appetit Magazine: Hot 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2013 #4, Jean Banchet Award (Chicago): Best New Restaurant 2013, Time Out Chicago: Best New Restaurant 2013, and Michelin Guide: Bib Gourmand (2014 – 2019), to name a few.
Chef Conlon frequently travels outside of his home-base of Chicago for consultations, project development, pop-ups and specialty events. Most recently after a global culinary tour, he took up residency at Chefs Club in New York (Aug-Oct 2018) to further share his unique brand of vibrant global cuisine.