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Chicago Chef of Michelin-Starred Elizabeth Is Coming to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Milkweed Inn, from Iliana Regan and wife Anna Hamlin, will serve a tasting menu with homegrown and foraged ingredients

Iliana Regan sits at a table with a gray and white striped apron on. There’s a fake white deer head hanging on the wall behind her.
Iliana Regan.
Tim Hiatt for Eater
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

The chef and owner of Michelin-starred Elizabeth and Japanese pub Kitsune in Chicago is taking her fascination with foraging to the next level with the opening of the Milkweed Inn in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Iliana Regan tells Eater that she and wife Anna Hamlin have acquired a remote 150-acre wooded property in Nahma Township near the Hiawatha National Forest with plans to create a farm and inn for secluded summer weekend getaways.

Regan is known for new-gatherer cuisine, which utilizes sustainable and foraged food. It was that appreciation for foraged ingredients that drew her and Hamlin to the Upper Peninsula. “We spent some time up in the north woods a little bit,” she says. “Just the forging — berries and nuts and mushrooms — everything is very abundant [there].” The name milkweed is a reference to one of Regan’s favorite foraged ingredients. “It has so many edible stages and it’s such an interesting wild edible,” she says.

The Milkweed Inn will have room 10 guests each weekend with bookings opening soon for August through September 2019. Visitors will be able to choose from several different styles of accomodations: a cabin with three rooms, an airstream trailer, and a slightly more rustic “glamping” tent with wood floors and a stove. Reservations will cost around $600 and will be all-inclusive with accomodations for Friday and Saturday night as well as meals.

A bird’s-eye view of the 150-acre property.
The Milkweed Inn [Courtesy photo]

Guests will arrive on Friday afternoons at the Milkweed and share a casual dinner with pizzas and other items prepared by Regan and Hamlin in a wood-burning oven. Then on Saturday, visitors can explore the property, whether that be fishing on the river that runs through the woods, kayaking, hiking, or just relaxing with a book. Later in the evening, the Milkweed Inn will host the main event — a tasting menu prepared using ingredients foraged or grown in the Milkweed’s garden. On Sunday before checkout, Regan and Hamlin will provide breakfast with breads, pastries, and cookies.

A cabin on the property in the Upper Peninsula features three rooms for weekend stays.
The Milkweed Inn [Courtesy photo]
A view of the river running through the woods around the Milkweed Inn.
The Milkweed Inn [Courtesy photo]

In summer 2020, Regan and Hamlin hope to begin hosting a limited number of larger events such as weddings at the compound with the Milkweed Inn doing the catering.

Reservations for the Milkweed Inn’s first summer season are expected to open within the next two to three weeks, once the hotel’s website is up.

The Milkweed Inn [Instagram]
All Elizabeth Coverage [ECHI]
Chicago Chef Iliana Regan on Opening Elizabeth and Earning a Michelin Star [E]
All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]