EXCLUSIVE: Iliana Regan’s Burn The Place, which was described by the New York Times as “perhaps the definitive Midwest drunken-lesbian food memoir” is being adapted for television after Annapurna optioned the rights.
The company, which recently produced David Simon and Ed Burn’s HBO limited drama The Plot Against America from, is developing the book, which was published by Agate Midway in July 2019, as a series.
Burn The Place was the first food book to be long-listed for the National Book Award since Julia Child and More Company in 1980. It tells Regan’s story of becoming a self-taught Midwestern Michelin-starred chef, amid a fight for sobriety, restaurant ownership, and her queer identity in the world of Chicago’s male dominated kitchen hierarchies.
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Once on top, Regan yearns for a more authentic life, with aspirations to leave it all behind. She retires to the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to open a bed and breakfast.
It explores how she quit her job to open a farmer’s market stall selling tortillas and ranch dressing, through to setting up a supper club, her first restaurant Elizabeth, Japanese-influenced restaurant Kitsune and how she and her wife Anna opened The Milkweed Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Regan is currently working on her second book and pursuing her MFA in writing at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She is represented by UTA and Nordlyset Literary Agency.
The option is the latest TV project for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna. The company is currently working on projects including an adaptation of Celeste Ng’s debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, Monsterland for Hulu; Staircase, starring Harrison Ford for HBO Max, Vanessa Bayer’s Showtime pilot Big Deal, Dead Ringers for Amazon, starring Rachel Weisz in her first television role and a series adaptation of Ian Parker’s The New Yorker article A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions written and directed by Janicza Bravo and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.