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17 Stunning Photos Of Chef Charlie Trotter's Food

One of America's greatest culinary talents, Charlie Trotter, was found dead today in his Chicago home at age 54.

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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.

2. Bento box

Flickr: ulteriorepicure

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.

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