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Adrienne Lo: Creating Sustainable Kitchen Culture

Presenting Coffee Talk: a weekly roundtable led by the city's best doers curated by Presence Agency.

Every Wednesday at 1pm we'll be sipping Stumptown Coffee in the lobby while we chat with some of our favorite people in town about what they're doing.

Our installment on October 23rd features Adrienne Lo, co-founder of Fat Rice + Fat Rice Bakery.

ABOUT ADRIENNE LO: Growing up in a Chinese-American household in Chicago, Adrienne Lo learned at an early age that food and hospitality were central to the family unit. Adrienne attended Trinity College in Connecticut where she first began her global travels studying abroad in India during her junior year. After graduation, she journeyed to Italy to work on a farm and continued to travel extensively, furthering her respect for heritage as expressed through cuisine. Upon her return to Chicago, she met Abe Conlon and the duo co-founded X-marx, a traveling supper club. As co-founder and general manager of the club, Adrienne displayed her worldly expertise through her creation of comfort and conviviality among strangers in diverse locations. Currently she is co-owner and director of operations at Fat Rice, alongside chef and co-owner Conlon, where the menu focuses on cuisines of the Portuguese speaking world with an emphasis on Macau presenting unique takes on heritage recipes that combine techniques and ingredients from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, Malaysia, India and China. At the restaurant, she employs her knowledge to lead the front of house servers and create a space known for its unique and inviting atmosphere and incredible service.

In 2016, Adrienne and Abe also opened The Bakery at Fat Rice, a Chinese Bakery and evening petisco bar, as well as The Ladies’ Room, a 250-square-foot craft cocktail lounge inspired by the fan tan (Chinese gambling halls) and red light districts that proliferated around Macau in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. The duo most recently released their first cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice, a compilation of recipes that explores the vibrant food culture of Macau. In addition to Adrienne receiving the Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Trailblazer Award for young professionals who have helped define Chicago’s next wave of culinary greatness, Fat Rice as a whole has been recognized as the 2018 James Beard award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes, “Rising Star” by StarChefs in 2015, Bon Appetit (Top 10 Best Restaurants in America, 2013), Jean Banchet (2013 Best New Restaurant winner/2015 Restaurant of the Year), as well as a recipient of The Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand (2014 – 2019).