He is for us a symbol. The father of modern cooking, he also personifies the chef who only lives for his profession, and is the prototype of the kitchen worker who starts at the very bottom but by sheer force of will and courage-in his case-marvellous intelligence-climbs to the very peak of his art. (Le Vie professional de Careme, by Phileas Gilbert, chef/Cooking for Kings the life of Antonin Careme)
Celebrity Chef Charlie Trotter, 54, passed away. News reports claim he was found unresponsive in bed at his home.
Charlie Trotter put Chicago back on the fine dining map with his eponymous restaurant on Armitage Avenue. The restaurant opened in 1987 and closed in 2012. In 2007, Charlie Trotter's was named the 5th best restaurant in the nation. in 2010 the restaurant received two Michelin Stars.
Mr. Trotter is also responsible for training some of the best chefs in Chicago, many who went on to open their own places. Charlie Trotter was known for his quest for perfection in every dish. In a movie cameo, parodying perfectionist chefs, he blurted out, "I will kill your whole family if you don't get this right! I need this perfect!" (My Best Friend's Wedding)
Charlie Trotter was a philanthropist, running the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation and other causes. He was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Cooking at the professional level is hard work. Running a kitchen, restaurant, and other cooking enterprises is even more hard work. Charlie Trotter worked hard, harder, and hardest. He fit right in with Chicago, the city of hard work. He worked hard to run his restaurant, develop, position, and maintain his brand, wrote cook books, was a philanthropist, and had a television show on PBS.
The cooking and food world lost a giant. Charlie Trotter was a Chicago legend, a mythical chef, and a cook at heart.
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