Chefs and food lovers all over the country mourn the loss of celebrity chef Charlie Trotter today.
Read the Chicago Tribune obituary here.
The chef’s eponymous restaurant was open from 1987–2012 and was one of the best in the country.
Trotter was a self-taught pioneer of American cuisine and mentored many of the best chefs, including Grant Achatz and Graham Elliot Bowles. “Charlie was an extreme father figure to me when it came to not just cooking, but life, and seeing things in a different way,” chef Graham Elliot Bowles told the Chicago Tribune. Over the past decade, the chef struggled to expand to new restaurants. He opened one in Las Vegas and another in Mexico, but they eventually closed. Plans to open a restaurant in New York City never panned out.
His death, the cause of which is currently unknown, comes as a jarring loss to the country’s food community.
Here are only a few of his beautiful dishes to remember.
1. Santa Barbara Spot Prawns
With tarragon-macha bubbles, raspberries, raspberry consommé, and raspberry powder.
2. Bento box
Clockwise: Leek terrine and eggplant; marinated tofu, artichoke hearts, and smoked hen of the woods; Kushi oyster with yuzu granita; sushi with tuna and monkfish liver; sea urchin, sake gelée; crab and candied kumquat.
3. Unagi Terrine
With grapefruit, red curry, and kaffir lime.
4. Japanese Snapper
Black grapes, pickled celery stalk, and black grape emulsion.
6. Olive Oil–Poached Turnip
With trumpet royale mushrooms, Yukon Gold potato, and red cabbage vinaigrette.
7. Green Garlic Gnocchi
Served with celery and preserved mustard.
8. Faroe Island Salmon
With sweet potato, grated horseradish, and ginger blossoms.
9. Kurobuta Pork Belly
With green curry and red cabbage.
10. Bleeding Heart “Ravioli”
With cashew cheese, heirloom tomatoes, tiny breakfast radishes, and mustard vinaigrette.
11. Arkansas Rabbit Loin
With ramps, burgundy snails, and mustard cress.
12. Braised Veal Cheek and Tongue
13. Ahi Tuna Hot Dog
14. Toffee-Glazed Banana Financier
With candied hazelnuts, date jam, and frothed pineapple.
15. Candied Kumquats
Served with allspice streusel, yogurt gelato, and caramelized white chocolate.
16. Delice de Bourgogne Cheesecake
With Thai basil and blood orange.
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