Join Us for “Fat Rice” Cookbook Signing & Dinner

Pre-order your “Adventures of Fat Rice” cookbook to reserve a copy for the signing. Retail price is $30; pre-sale cost is $30.

Back in 2001, Chefs Eric Alexander and Courtney McDonald graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  One of their fellow alumni and lifelong friends will be in da house next week for two very special events:

Abraham Conlon, co-owner of the celebrated Chicago restaurant, Fat Rice, will be signing his new cookbook, ‘The Adventures of Fat Rice,” on Saturday, November 19, from 2:30 to 4:30 in the Wine Mine at Carpe Vino.  Then on Sunday, he’ll join us for a three-course, prix-fixe dinner of the same name, “The Adventures of Fat Rice,” inspired by the restaurant’s menu and the cookbook, which was co-written by Adrienne Lo, co-owner of Fat Rice.

Abe and Eric developed a friendship forged through a mutual love of making people happy through food.  The pair met at the CIA and after graduation, the trio–including Courtney who is now married to Eric–went to Washington, D.C. in 2002 to work for Chef Jon Mathieson (now executive chef for the Washington Redskins) to help open Poste Moderne Brasserie at the Monaco Hotel.  They ended up going separate ways when Eric and Courtney followed Mathieson to another restaurant in Connecticut.


Fat Rice restaurant owners and cookbook authors Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo. Conlon will be at Carpe Vino this weekend to sign cookbooks and for prix-fixe dinner.

By 2007, Eric and Courtney had been working for several years at Carpe Vino when they hooked up again with Abe to spend 10 days traveling in France, visiting Paris, Burgundy, Champagne and Provence.  When they returned, Abe came back to Auburn and worked at Carpe Vino for five months, figuring out a new plan.

He decided to move to Chicago where he met Adrienne Lo when they both worked at a Whole Foods market.  This lead to travel in China and Macau, and the birth of an idea to create Fat Rice, based on their newly minted cuisine, inspired by a fusion of Portuguese and Asian influences.

The restaurant was virtually an instant hit.  In 2013, Bon Appétit magazine named it to its annual list of new restaurants; in 2016, Conlon was a James Beard finalist for the Great Lakes Region; and in October, Food and Wine magazine ran a three-page feature on Fat Rice.

With a book contract from Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, Conlon and Lo worked for more than two years to complete “The Adventures of Fat Rice,” which is a bestseller on Amazon.  The cookbook offers advice on equipment, spices and techniques as well as background on the culture and cuisine of Macau, plus 100 detailed recipes.  The book is loaded with gorgeous photos and, uniquely, a comic-book approach to demonstrating technique.

The 320-page book is $35, but we’ll have it on pre-sale for $30 each.  Just respond to this email, and we’ll reserve your copy.  Of course, Conlon will be happy to inscribe your book with a personal message.

A One-Night Only, Prix-fixe Tour of Macau

To celebrate his bro’s success, Eric has created a three-course, prix-fixe menu inspired by the Fat Rice restaurant menu and the new cookbook.  Conlon will be hovering in the kitchen and will circulate in the restaurant to say “hello” and answer any questions you may have.

Here’s the menu:

Fat Rice snacks will be on the table to start including Charlie’s Peanuts, Sweet Soy Burdock, and Jumpwater Pickles.

First Course:  California Dungeness Crab and White Shrimp “Sopa de Lacassa” with Rice Noodles, Caramelized Shallot and Sprouted Coriander

Second Course:  Macanese Curry Beef Cheek with Shaved Radishes, Root Vegetables and Coconut Rice

Third Course:  Autumn Serradura Pudding with Hachiya Persimmon and Gingersnaps

We’re working with Fat Rice’s director of wine, Craig Perman, to develop three wine pairings for the dinner that will be available at extra cost by the glass or bottle.

Cost of the dinner is $49.95 per person++.  Regular reservations are being taken by phone only.  Call 530-823-0320; seating is limited so don’t delay if you’d like to join us for this very special evening.

Note:  We’re suspending the Tuscany Prix-fixe event for Sunday evening, resuming on November 22.