Iliana Regan
Iliana Regan

Iliana Regan

Restaurant: Elizabeth Location: Chicago At least half the menu at Elizabeth, Iliana Regan's tiny ticketed restaurant, is always inspired by the foods she gathers on foraging excursions. "And in the summer, it's 100 percent based on what I've found," she says. The self-taught chef grew up on a 10-acre Indiana farm: "We had the occasional pigs and chickens, and my mother preserved everything." Now Regan spends most Sundays in the woods, collecting ingredients that often sound a little oddball—like sassafras twigs, which she'll turn into ice cream or cake for a supremely naturalist dessert. Iliana's Obsessions Veggie-O'sRegan serves crisped chicken skin with root vegetables shaped like circles. Foraged FruitRegan sometimes hunts for the berries in the jam she serves with housemade brioche and butter. Wild StyleDeer skulls that Regan found in the woods decorate her restaurant. Dessert from the ForestPorcini ice cream comes with sassafras cake, edible moss and shaved herb ice.
This bowl of noodles and loaf of bread became comfort, companion, and best friend for Iliana Regan's mother.
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Tender but hearty handmade noodles, simply made with flour, eggs, and whole-milk yogurt, add texture to the stew and thicken the broth. Store the noodles and broth separately to prevent the noodles from dissolving.Read Iliana Regan's essay about this recipe, My Mom Daydreams About These Noodles.
Secret-weapon ingredient: Sassafras twigs. Read more about this amazing Chicago talent, one of the new Food & Wine Best New Chefs.
Extra-Rich Brioche
Rating: Unrated
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Chef Iliana Regan of Chicago's Elizabeth restaurant is a whiz with bread. She has mastered brioche—a bread that is definitely a time commitment to but so worth the wait. With a golden crust and buttery, tender crumb, this is one of the most delicious breads you can make. Slideshow:  More Bread Recipes 
Fresh Raspberry Preserves
Rating: Unrated
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Chef Iliana Regan of Chicago's Elizabeth restaurant uses a variety of berries to make her preserves, usually depending on what's in season that she has picked fresh for herself. Here she uses juicy raspberries, which she balances with a bit of acidic red wine vinegar to temper the sweetness. Slideshow:  More Raspberry Recipes