World class restaurateur, Charlie Trotter has passed away. Today’s Chicago Tribune eulogized Chef Trotter, saying;
Before there was “Top Chef,” “MasterChef” or “Iron Chef,” before chefs were multimedia celebrities who could monetize their volcanic personalities, before “farm-to-table” and “American cuisine” were routinely applied to high-end restaurants, there was Charlie Trotter, whose self-named Lincoln Park restaurant became one of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions almost immediately after its 1987 opening.
Charlie Trotter’s was an international destination and a pioneer in creating a bold, distinctly American form of haute cuisine, and its chef-owner was an inspirational and notoriously mercurial figure, qualities that the people who worked for him — including many chefs who have achieved great success on their own — did not find mutually exclusive.
Trotter closed his restaurant in August 2012 after 25 years, and now the chef himself is gone, found unconscious Tuesday morning in his Lincoln Park home by his son Dylan, Naha chef Carrie Nahabedian said Trotter’s wife, Rochelle, had told her.
Nahabedian, a close Trotter friend, said that an ambulance was called to Trotter’s home in the 1800 block of North Dayton Street at 10:45 a.m. and that the 54-year-old chef was not breathing. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.
Read more about Charlie Trotter here.