Fieldwork: A Forager's Memoir
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About the Author
Iliana Regan is the Michelin-star chef and prior owner of Elizabeth restaurant, which she turned over to her employees in 2020 in order to run the Milkweed Inn bed and breakfast in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and experience a quieter life. In 2019 her debut memoir, Burn the Place, was longlisted for the National Book Award, the first time a food writer was listed since Julia Child won in the year Regan was born, 40 years ago. In addition to working as the chef and owner of Milkweed Inn, she recently earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Praise for Iliana Regan's memoir BURN THE PLACE:
"A remarkable exploration of the [memoir] form . . . Burn the Place is a 'chef memoir' only in the sense that the author turned out to be a chef. More rightly, it belongs on a shelf with the great memoirs of addiction, of gender ambivalence and queer coming-of-age, of the grand disillusionment that comes from revisiting, as a clear-eyed adult, the deceptive perfection of childhood."--The New Yorker
"This raw and emotional memoir testifies to the power of persistence and grit. With vivid description, we explore Regan's almost inborn connection to food and the earth, her rise as a queer woman in a male dominated industry, and her journey to sobriety." --Real Simple
"With this deeply personal work, Iliana reminds us that there is great strength in vulnerability. Her story is one of resilience, determination, and vision."--René Redzepi, chef and co-owner of Noma
"[A] blistering yet tender story of a woman transforming Midwestern cooking, in a fresh voice all her own." --Publishers Weekly
"It turns out that Iliana Regan writes the way she cooks: with a voice that's bold and soulful, tender and tough, impossible to ignore, and utterly her own. Burn the Place is much more than an account of hustling in the kitchen. It's a story about identity and addiction. It's about getting creative and becoming a boss. And it's full of scenes of gothic drama that still give me goosebumps when I think of them." --Jeff Gordinier, author of Hungry
"The dynamic story of a dynamic life."--Ms.
"What bold new voice is this? Iliana Regan is out to shake up the literary world in the same way she's shaken the culinary world. Unexpected, flavorful, and distinctive, Burn the Place is a debut to savor." --Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs
"Renowned chef Iliana Regan turns stuffy patriarchal stereotypes upside down. She is self-taught, charismatic, delightfully foul-mouthed, and utterly devoid of pretension as she parallels her ascent in the culinary world with a past strewn with AA chips, jail cell stints, and brutal family losses. This groundbreaking memoir reinvents the well-worn trope of the "bad boy" superstar chef, presenting us instead with a palpably vulnerable, complicatedly feminist, and sexy-queer-girl genius who takes no prisoners, including herself. Regan's wild rags-to-Michelin story has appeal far beyond the "foodie" market, particularly among those hungry for tales of unapologetic women who have made it entirely on their own terms." --Gina Frangello, author of A Life in Men and Every Kind of Wanting