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Charlie Trotter Gone

from The Chicago Tribune

Charlie Trotter, famed Chicago chef, found dead in home

By Rosemary Regina Sobol, Jeremy Gorner, Phil Vettel and Mark Caro |Tribune reporters

image courtesy of La Belle Cuisine - click to visit
Charlie Trotter, whose eponymous Chicago restaurant was considered one of the finest in the world, has died.

The 54-year-old chef was found unconscious and not breathing in his Lincoln Park home this morning and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“My baby’s gone,” Trotter’s wife Rochelle told the friend, Carrie Nahabedian.

“Charlie was a trailblazer and introduced people to a new way of dining when he opened Charlie Trotter’s.  His impact upon American cuisine and the culinary world at large will always be remembered.”

Trotter burst on the scene in 1987, when the self-taught chef opened Charlie Trotter’s restaurant on Armitage Avenue. In short order, the chef’s intense creativity and never-repeat-a-dish dictum made Trotter’s the most talked-about restaurant in Chicago, and his fame quickly spread throughout the country and beyond.

He was named the country’s Outstanding Chef by James Beard Foundation in 1999; in 2000, Wine Spectator magazine called Trotter’s the best restaurant in the nation. More awards and accolades followed, including a 2002 Beard Award for Outstanding Service; at the time, Trotter called it the award he was most proud to receive, as it represented “a team award.”

The mercurial chef was a stern taskmaster who demanded the absolute best from everyone who worked for him. He was also a man of uncommon generosity, creating the Charlie Trotter Education Foundation to provide scholarships for culinary students. He received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 2012.

[ click to read full obit at The Chicago Tribune ]

Posted on November 5, 2013 by Editor

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