The TT 46

Iliana Regan

Elizabeth, Chicago, IL
Photo: Jeff Marini

Why she killed it in 2015: Though her hunter-gatherer-esque fine dining restaurant is nearly three years old and her tiny, 12-seat bakery has yet to open this year, everyone is talking about Regan right now. Drawing comparisons to Noma, the Trio alum is redefining Midwestern cuisine at her first restaurant with elaborate tasting menus built on local ingredients she forages herself and inspired by whatever she fancies from Game of Thrones in the past to fairy tales on this year's fall menu.

How would you describe your food? "New gatherer, Midwestern and whimsy."

What's your signature dish? "Maitake mushroom tea."

What's the dish you would cook for the rest of your life? "Raspberries are my favorite things to eat. I love them fresh, right from the bush. (However, we make a really great jam with barely any sugar.) But if I could eat raspberries for the rest of my life, I would."

What are the three essential cookbooks on your shelf? "Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook for inspiration, The French Laundry Cookbook for instruction and Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking for understanding. I greatly admire all the authors of these books, plus they've been textbooks for me. I'm self-taught, and I learned by reading a lot and practicing a lot. Since I didn't work in the kitchens of some of the great chefs, I've just read and reread their books."

Find Elizabeth on DINE.

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