Jump to content

Chef Charlie Trotter Passes Away at 54


DonRocks
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm sorry to report this tragic news. Here's the story from NBC Chicago.

Member Number One and I had an incredible chef's-tasting dinner at Trotter's, right outside the chef's table. I'll also never forget the time he came to Gerard's Place and cooked with Gerard Pangaud - it was the first time I've ever had scallops with red Hermitage.

Charlie Trotter was a forward-thinking genius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie Trotter had an immeasurable impact on my life and career. His eponymous restaurant, his management books, his cookbooks, and the time I was fortunate enough to spend with him, they all changed my culinary sensibilities. I will be forever grateful to his incredible contributions to the culinary world.

As much as his legacy enriched the world, the sudden loss makes us all the poorer.

Godspeed, Chef.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to graduate school in Chicago in the mid-late 1990's, when Charlie Trotter's was hitting on all cylinders.  Unfortunately, it was a holy grail for me, unattainable by my own limited resources at the time and the lack of interest from those around me (i.e., U of C PhD students who subsisted on pasta and Harold's Chicken Shack fried chicken).  I never got there.  Very sad news today.

Anybody else remember his tv show? I think it was called, "The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter," or something like that.  I recall one episode in which he cooked a perfect piece of salmon.  Great ingredient, great technique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terrible news. I never ate at any of his restaurants, but he must be counted among the most influential persons in American cooking in the past quarter-century. It's remarkable to think that he made his name while still quite young, and that he seemed to walk away from so much of it to pursue new passions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so upset at this and I don't even know why. We had an amazing, life-changing dinner a couple years ago in the kitchen table and he wasn't even there as it was the eve of his wedding.

Perhaps because it caught everyone off-guard. At 54, he's too young for this to have happened, especially without any warning. He is an icon who we all assumed would be around for another thirty years.

Although I don't know as much as I should about him, I've heard murmurs that Trotter was an old-school chef who took no prisoners and suffered no fools; the man I met during both of my dinners (granted, he was working, and "on game") seemed serene, full of peace, a zen-master, and as gentle as could be.

To state the obvious, the lack of permanence in this world is extremely sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps because it caught everyone off-guard. At 54, he's too young for this to have happened, especially without any warning. He is an icon who we all assumed would be around for another thirty years.

Although I don't know as much as I should about him, I've heard murmurs that Trotter was an old-school chef who took no prisoners and suffered no fools; the man I met during both of my dinners (granted, he was working, and "on game") seemed serene, full of peace, a zen-master, and as gentle as could be.

To state the obvious, the lack of permanence in this world is extremely sad.

Jean Louis was 55, Santimaria 53, Trotter 54.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps because it caught everyone off-guard. At 54, he's too young for this to have happened, especially without any warning. He is an icon who we all assumed would be around for another thirty years.

Although I don't know as much as I should about him, I've heard murmurs that Trotter was an old-school chef who took no prisoners and suffered no fools; the man I met during both of my dinners (granted, he was working, and "on game") seemed serene, full of peace, a zen-master, and as gentle as could be.

To state the obvious, the lack of permanence in this world is extremely sad.

I assume this has something to do with why he walked away from his restaurant to spend more time traveling with his wife, etc.

Had a great meal with my family there a few years ago before kids. We were there pretty late so our server took us on a kitchen tour as they were cleaning up. I was amazed at how tiny the kitchen was compared to most restaurants of that caliber. One would have to be an old-school chef to run a brigade efficiently in that space. Grant Achatz talks about his time at Trotter's in his autobiography. As  I recall, the dinner itself was amazingly good for what I considered to be not a lot of money. Sensible Chicago prices for "NYC quality" food perhaps?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one factor in the restaurant's closing may have been health issues. One obit I read of him today quoted a former sommelier of his who said that he had an inoperable brain aneurysm.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-charlie-trotter-dead-20131105,0,3424072.story

And here is a piece by Homaru Cantu:

http://homarocantu.blogspot.com/2012/12/did-i-ever-tell-you-best-part-about.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...