Chef Charlie Trotter exhibit displays rare culinary artifacts at City Gallery

Chef Charlie Trotter was one of a kind.  His accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but a new exhibit at City Gallery (806 N. Michigan Ave.) will share some insights into his greatness.

Culinary fans will feast in delight at the exhibition Charlie Trotter: Chef, Artist, Thinker presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Charlie Trotter’s Culinary Education Foundation (CTCEF) at the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower (806 N. Michigan Ave.) now through September 7.  The special FREE exhibit gives visitors a peek at the interests and inspirations in Chef Charlie Trotter’s (1959–2013) thoughtful and artistic approach to his life, his cuisine and his legacy.

The Chef's foundation, CTCEF, which was established in 1999 to provide scholarships to youth who have a passion for cooking and food, has provided the items on display, including Trotter’s last worn chef jacket. Additional artifacts include items from his personal library and music collection, his most coveted award: the 2012 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year medal, ephemera and a selection of food photography featured in his numerous books, which highlight the chef’s uniquely architectural and artistic culinary presentations.

Chef Trotter’s modern interpretation of cuisine helped to shape the culinary scene in America today and put Chicago at the forefront of the industry. A self-taught chef who was dyslexic, Trotter opened his award-winning restaurant, Charlie Trotter’s, in Chicago in 1987 when he was only 28 years old (the first menu is on display). The restaurant received numerous accolades, including nine James Beard Awards.

Trotter was also the author of 14 cookbooks, 3 management books and hosted the award winning PBS series, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter.  Trotter received an award at the White House from both President George W. Bush and Colin Powell for his work with the Foundation and was named one of only five 'heroes' to be honored by Colin Powell's charity, America’s Promise.

“We are delighted to share a glimpse of elements which helped shaped the life Charlie Trotter. Our hope is that by sharing these personal insights about Charlie as a person visitors will realize that inspiration can come in many forms – not always the format in which it is ultimately expressed. For instance Charlie’s greatest artistic inspiration came in the form of jazz music, even though he wasn’t a musician, his art was cuisine,” stated his widow Rochelle Trotter, Executive Director of CTCEF.

A private preview party kicked off the exhibit and featured decor by Debi Lilly, sweet treats from Sugar Hills Bakery, COCO5 natural cherry water and catering provided by PURE KITCHEN.  (Photos by Kipling Swehla)

Please enjoy this chefs' tribute video below to Chef Trotter hosted by Rochelle Trotter.....

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