If you follow the culinary scene, you’re probably aware of the untimely death of renowned chef Charlie Trotter. If not, you might want to learn a little bit about a man who, without much in the way of early life associations with food, became one of the most famous, innovative and influential chefs ever to hit the scene.
Trotter taught himself how to cook – he never went to culinary school. He started cooking in college (where he was a Political Science major) to entertain friends and family, and took a year off to immerse himself in reading – including cookbooks. After school, he took some time to travel to the finest restaurants around the U.S. and Europe and came back inspired to start catering for a year. He focused on excellence and after about a year, he opened Charlie Trotter’s, a restaurant, which became known for its tasting menus (long before that became all the rage in high end restaurants), innovation and quality, above all.
The chef authored over a dozen cookbooks (including the delightful “Gourmet Cooking for Dummies – A Reference for the Rest of Us!,” made television cooking shows, and even authored two books on business management. He was a dedicated philanthropist, supporting many charitable organizations as well as creating is own Culinary Education Foundation. The awards and recognition Trotter received were numerous and varied, including everything from Mobil Travel Guide’s highest five stars rating and Wine Spectator’s Grand Award to the Outstanding Chef Award and Humanitarian of the Year from The James Beard Foundation. You can see more about Charlie Trotter and the memories of his friends on the In Memory of Charlie Trotter Facebook Page.
Charlie Trotter remains an stunning example of just how far passion, tenacity, dedication and creativity can take you. He may have taught himself how to be a world-class chef, but he taught the rest of us how to be a world-class person. Good-bye, Charlie. You will be missed, but most certainly not forgotten.
THE QUICK BITE: We bid a final farewell to Chef Charlie Trotter, who brought the best of inspired gourmet cuisine and culinary innovation to us at the highest levels.