Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2013 Contents B22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 7, 2013
Award-winning chef Charlie Trotter, a self-taught
culinary master whose eponymous Chicago restau-
rant elevated the city s cuisine and provided a train-
ing ground for some of the nation s other best chefs,
has died at the age of 54.
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford
said rescue crews were called around 10 am on Tues-
day to his Lincoln Park home, where they found
Trotter unresponsive. Langford said an ambulance
crew transported Trotter to Northwestern Memorial
Hospital, where he died after unsuccessful attempts
to revive him.
The Cook County medical examiner s office said
it was notified, and an autopsy was scheduled for
Trotter s name is synonymous with gourmet cui-
sine. He earned ten James Beard Awards and provided
a training ground for some of the country s other
best-known chefs, such as
fellow Beard Award-winner
Grant Achatz of Chicago
restaurants Alinea and
Charlie Trotter s earned
two stars when the highly
respected Michelin Guide
debuted in Chicago.
"His restaurant shaped
the world of food," said
Dana Cowin, editor-in-
chief of Food & Wine mag-
azine. "He was so innova-
tive and focused and
intense and really brilliant.
When he opened Charlie
Trotter he was so original."
His legacy will be "a
passion for perfection and
innovation," she said.
In keeping with his rep-
utation for bold, unexpect-
ed moves, Trotter closed the iconic 120-seat restaurant
in 2012, saying he planned to go back to college to
On Tuesday, a bouquet of roses was left outside
the site of the former restaurant with a card that
Trotter, who never went to cooking school, wrote
more than a dozen cookbooks and starred in a PBS
series, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter.
He credited the development of his signature style
to his travels in the US and Europe after college and
dining at the best restaurants.
He was famous for his reverence for details and
he insisted his staff also be sticklers for exactness.
Such laser-like precision and military-style organ-
isation was on display a few days before his restaurant
closed in August of last year.
In a behind-the-scenes look for The Associated
Press three days before closing night, the Charlie
Trotter s staff held a typically detail-laden pre-dinner
meeting, discussing specifics down to the exact dates
when diners last ate at the restaurant and reminders
about when to use certain wine glasses.
Dishes from the final week of menus included
poached white asparagus with charred broccolini,
manchego cheese and red pepper essence and root
beer leaf ice cream with vanilla cremeaux and birch
Staff members recited the evening s menus, and
Trotter---relentlessly demanding---took one employee
to task. "You re not reading, are you?" he asked. "When
you go to the table do you have a piece of paper?"
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a written statement
Tuesday honoring Trotter as someone who "changed
Chicago s restaurant scene forever."
"Charlie s personality mirrored his cooking---bold,
inventive and always memorable," Emanuel said. "Char-
lie Trotter will be remembered for serving the finest
food and his generous philanthropy, and he will always
have a seat at the table among Chicago s legendary
Since closing down his restaurant, Trotter had run
Top US chef Charlie Trotter dies
In this August 2012 file photo, award-winning chef Charlie Trotter is seen during
an interview with The Associated Press at his restaurant in Chicago. Trotter died
on Tuesday. AP PHOTO
into legal troubles. This summer, he was sued by two
New York wine collectors who say he sold them a
bottle of wine for more than $46,000 that wasn t
what it said on the label.
Trotter had degrees from the University of Wisconsin
in political theory and philosophy.
"It s learning for learning s sake," Trotter told the
AP last year in laying out his plans for further study
in philosophy. "Reading some of the great books that
are unread still. Only studying for studying s sake. It s
sort of a lost thing."
Trotter said he was "looking for a second act in
"You ve got to follow your instincts," he said. (AP)
Trotter, who never
went to cooking
more than a dozen
starred in a PBS
his signature style
to his travels in
the US and Europe
after college and
dining at the best
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