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Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter dead at 54

Charlie Trotter in 2012 (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong, File)

Charlie Trotter in 2012 (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong, File)

The food world has been reacting with shock to the news that Charlie Trotter, a famous Chicago chef, has died of as-yet-unknown causes at the age of 54.

Trotter closed his eponymous restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood just last year after 25 years. The much-lauded restaurant has held two Michelin stars and was known for its very exacting, precise fine dining and regularly changing menu.

When I was working as a chef in the late 1980’s, I often heard about Charlie Trotter’s, which had established itself as the kind of destination restaurant people planned trips around — a first for Chicago. Trotter, not yet 30 when he opened the restaurant, was famously self taught.

You can read the obituary here.

If there are any Atlanta chefs who worked with Trotter or diners who recall meals at his restaurant, we would appreciate your comments below.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

4 comments Add your comment

Jeffrey

November 5th, 2013
5:47 pm

I tried to get a res there years ago. Wound up at another fine dining restaurant in Lincoln park that I thoroughly enjoyed but always wished we had dined there. Now I’ll never know. Rip. tougher life than most think being a chef.

I just schnitzeled my pants!

November 6th, 2013
8:44 am

Theresa

November 6th, 2013
9:22 am

I have fond memories of lovely dinners there with my husband. I think Charlie Trotter’s started the fine dining scene in Chicago.

Doorknob

November 7th, 2013
2:31 am

God bless his soul…he was such a great Chef.

His temper was legendary though, one of my chefs staged at Trotter’s for a while and he said he would throw up everyday before going to work. Charlie was that intense.