Influential Chicago Chef, Charlie Trotter, Is Remembered

Charlie Trotter, the internationally known chef, Chicagoan and owner of the the eponymous restaurant, died Tuesday at the age of 54. He is considered to be one of the finest chefs to ever reside in Chicago and can be named as one of the greats alongside Jean Banchet and Jovan Trboyevic. His story is an inspiration to every student taking online culinary courses aspiring to be a chef.

Trotter wasn’t always a culinary genius. He went away to college and earned his political science degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It was later in life that he found his passion, cooking and serving delicious and memorable meals in his hometown Chicago. He traveled abroad, studied  culinary techniques, pored over cookbooks and recipes, and eventually began showcasing his skills at small parties.

He opened Charlie Trotter’s in 1987 and quickly separated himself from the rest of the herd. He was hailed by critics and patrons as an artistic whirlwind of creativity, and strived to never repeat a dish if he could help it.

Following the success of his restaurant, Trotter continued to move forward and always tried to advance the culinary world for future generations. He authored multiple cookbooks bearing his name, including Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables, Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home and Charlie Trotter’s Meat and Game. In 1999, he hosted his own PBS show called The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, in which he talked about his recipes and cooking techniques.

Charlie Trotter’s restaurant closed in 2012, but former employees, patrons and business partners held a candlelight vigil at the building, leaving bouquets of flowers and cards for the grieving family members.

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