An autopsy is scheduled today for famed Chicago chef
According to the Chicago Tribune, Trotter had been recently diagnosed with a
Trotter opened his famous restaurant
"Chef Trotter greatly influenced my life both personally and professionally," Hinoki & the Bird's David Myers told The Times' Russ Parsons. Myers' first kitchen job was at Charlie Trotter's. "He was not only a chef and mentor, but a friend. I have incredibly fond memories of working in his kitchen."
"He’s probably the most important guy in my career," L.A. chef David LeFevre (MB Post, Fishing with Dynamite) told Parsons. LeFevre worked with Trotter for 10 years. "I think I can attribute the majority of my attention to detail and the majority of my awareness of what it takes to run a fine dining restaurant to him. He had a very acute sense of attention to detail and he saw things that most people didn’t see. All of us who worked for him are better chefs because we came out of that kitchen."
Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold still remembers the time he ate at Charlie Trotter's 15 years ago. According to Gold, Trotter helped define what it means to be an American chef and saw his vision as reaching far beyond the scope of Chicago.
"The impression was of utter professionalism, and of rigorous control over ingredients, and of an experience that was controlled in every detail," wrote Gold. "What you took away from the meal was precisely what Trotter meant you to take away. I think he may have even anticipated the grilled Polish dog I ended up getting at Weiner Circle on the way home."
Trotter was also a legend among the world's sommeliers, having compiled an impressive collection of wine. "The Magnificent Cellar of Charlie Trotter's" sold for just shy of $1 million during a Christie's auction last December.
Chefs and food personalities took to Twitter to express their shock at losing the culinary icon.
Anthony Bourdain wrote: "Rest In Peace Charlie Trotter. A giant. A legend. Treated shabbily by a world he helped create. My thoughts go out to those who loved him."
Daniel Boulud wrote: "Very sad day in the chef community #charlietrotter influence on young American chef was tremendous and inspiring. He will be missed greatly."
The French Laundry restaurant account posted: "Sad day... We lost a great chef. Thoughts & prayers to Chef Trotter's family & friends. #Legend #Pioneer #RIP"
Trotter had recently announced the closure of Charlie Trotter's and his plans to travel.
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