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Charlie Trotter’s Death Attributed to Stroke

Charlie Trotter’s Death Attributed to Stroke


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The Cook County medical examiner's office has released autopsy results

An autopsy attributed Trotter's recent death to a stroke.

Results of Charlie Trotter's autopsy show that the legendary Chicago chef died of a stroke earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said Trotter "died of a cerebrovascular accident (a stroke) as a consequence of hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure)... Neither drugs nor alcohol contributed to his death. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that recent travel contributed to his death, though there was evidence of a prior stroke."

Trotter was found unconscious in his home on the morning of Nov. 5; he was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Media speculated that an inoperable brain aneurysm or recent travel to Jackson Hole, Wyo., could've contributed to Trotter's death. Rochelle Trotter released a statement at the time saying, "In January Charlie was treated for a seizure as a result of an aneurysm which was discovered at that time. His doctors prescribed the proper medication to control seizures, his blood pressure, and high cholesterol and he was seen by a number of medical experts who cleared him to travel. He returned home from his most recent trip Monday night without incident."


Charlie Trotter's Wife on His Last Days: He Was 'So Full of Joy'

LINCOLN PARK &mdash Charlie Trotter left little doubt about what he wanted in life &mdash and in death.

The renowned chef, who died of a stroke in November, was cremated according to his wishes, his widow said.

The lively champagne and canape reception after his funeral, attended by some of the nation's most famous and respected chefs, was his idea.

And he was adamant that his foundation, under her direction, live on.

In her first interview since her husband's death, Rochelle Trotter talked this week about her plans to carry out his vision of an "institute of learning" and library in his name and publish a "tribute book" by year's end, the proceeds of which will go to the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation.

"This is going to be a really aggressive year of capital-building for the foundation," said Trotter, designated by her husband to be its director and treasurer. "This is my full-time job for 2014."

Trotter sees the Charlie Trotter Center for Excellence as a place for seminars and lectures targeted to at-risk youths interested in the culinary field and built around his lessons on service and leadership. He had often talked about expanding the scope of his foundation since closing his eponymous restaurant in August 2012, she said.

She said the center and library won't necessarily be stand-alone buildings, nor will they be housed in the adjoining buildings at 816 W. Armitage Ave. where his world-class restaurant was for 25 years until it closed. The property is on the market for $3.2 million.

Trotter said she "eventually" will sell their nearby Lincoln Park house, from which she already has moved, as there is no need for such a big place. Just being in the neighborhood, passing the now-shuttered restaurant, is "still very raw," she said.

"Charles made a decision after 25 years to move on from those buildings. If he wanted this to manifest itself there, he wouldn't have put them up for sale," she said.

She said the center and library could instead operate as "floating" entities, perhaps tied to culinary schools or an organization such as the New York-based James Beard Foundation, which in 2012 honored Charlie Trotter with its Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The library will consist of his cookbooks, which number about 1,400, and his eclectic collection of 600 fiction and non-fiction books on a range of topics and genres, from restaurant management to poetry ("He was a crazy Charles Bukowski fan," Trotter said).

Memorabilia will have a place in the library as well, she said: notes from his student years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sketches he drew while working on cookbooks, and countless audio and video recordings, including the PBS series "Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter" on VHS tapes.

For the tribute book, Trotter hopes to compile commentary from his friends in the culinary, wine, business and design worlds on "the lessons they learned from him when it came to their area of expertise." Proceeds from the sale of the book would go to the foundation.

Her inspiration for the book: a cookbook Charlie put together after his close friend, the chef Patrick Clark, died at age 42. Proceeds from "Cooking with Patrick Clark: A Tribute to the Man and His Cuisine" went to Clark's family.

Final Moments

Trotter, 47, sometimes catches herself talking about her husband in the present tense.

"I'm coming to terms with the word 'bittersweet,' selfishly, because he's not here in the flesh, but also, so many people have so many good memories of him," she said.

The two met in 2000. What started as a business relationship &mdash she had her own restaurant consulting firm &mdash turned into romance. In 2010, they wed.

The details of Nov. 5, the day he died, and Halloween morning, the last time they saw each other, still play out vividly for her.

On Oct. 31, she had an early-morning flight to catch. She was headed to New York to run the marathon. He was asleep in bed. As was her habit, she'd written him a note and left it on the cutting board in the kitchen. She was nearly out the door but at the last minute, turned and ran back upstairs to kiss him.

"I said, 'I love you, crazy man.' He said, 'Go win, champ. I bet a lot of money on you,'" Trotter recalled.

They didn't say "bye" but rather "see you later," another of Rochelle's habits. Charlie Trotter had his own trip planned for that weekend, to speak at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Back in Chicago on Nov. 4, Trotter headed straight to her downtown studio to catch up on work. Charlie called her from the airport on his way back. He was tired but happy. He hadn't done an appearance like this "for the better part of a year," she said.

"He said it went really well. He sounded so full of joy," said Trotter, who told him she was staying overnight at her studio to finish her work.

She called him once more that night, but he didn't pick up.

The next morning, his son, Dylan, 22, found him unresponsive at home. He had suffered a stroke as a result of high blood pressure, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. He was 54.

Trotter rushed home in a cab. She recalled screaming hysterically as emergency personnel held her back in the foyer, and again outside as they wheeled him on a stretcher into the ambulance.

"I reached out to touch him and I pulled the cover off a little bit. He just looked so peaceful," she said.

Trotter can't help but draw parallels between his death and her mother's. Her mother also had high blood pressure and died of a stroke on Halloween, and it was a young Rochelle who found her.

Moving forward

Trotter has wasted little time since her husband's death. She took inventory and put into storage his books and memorabilia, and started talking to potential new board members for the foundation. She expects to have the new board in place by February.

"It was my safety mode I went into when he passed away, because it was so shocking and completely unexpected. And I haven't stopped. I'm just grateful that he was very specific in what he wanted," she said.

Fundraising for the foundation will take the form of monthly events held across the country, with two in the works for outside of the United States.

The first event, a dinner prepared by his friend and acclaimed chef David Bouley, took place last week at the James Beard House in New York. The dinner raised $12,500, Trotter spokeswoman Robin Insley said.

A February event is planned for Miami the April tribute will coincide with the annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival. The fundraisers will culminate in a dinner in November in Chicago.

"I would love to get what I call his A-list people who worked with him who are here in Chicago," Trotter said.

Trotter continues to run marathons her next race is in March in Little Rock, Ark. But instead of running to raise money for different charities, as she has done for years, the proceeds this year will go to the foundation.

"I know it's something he would not like to see me stop doing," she said.

A Tchula, Miss. native, Trotter grew up on Chicago's West Side, started working at 14 and has a culinary degree and an MBA. She said she has yet another book in her, something she was working on last year that she would like to pick back up.

"People still ask me, 'What was it like?' There's a sort of latent voyeurism related to life with him," she said.

Sadness comes and goes. When it hits her, Trotter said she thinks about all the work yet to be done.

"I trust this would not have been left to me if I was not equipped to the best of my abilities to do it," she said.

And, she said, "I just remember. I'm grateful for the memories."


For Crossroads chef Tal Ronnen, healthful eating a way of life

Tal Ronnen, founder and chef of Crossroads, the upscale Mediterranean restaurant on Melrose Avenue, is considered a star of vegan cuisine.

Ronnen, 39, grew up eating steak but turned vegan as a teenager and has become obsessed with creating plant-based food as delicious as anything he ever had as a meat eater.

Who and what inspired you on your journey to becoming a chef?

I was born in Israel, where I was exposed to really great Middle Eastern food, particularly from my Moroccan nanny. So I grew up with a lot of great spicy food I’ve always liked spicy food. When I was 6 years old, we moved to New York City, where I was introduced to every style of cuisine.

When I started to learn how to cook professionally, it was chefs like Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter and David Anderson who were a huge inspiration to me. I went to the Natural Gourmet Institute to learn how to cook with the intention of taking the knowledge of traditional French cooking techniques and applying them to plant-based foods.

How do you define “healthful eating”?

If they’re a meat-and-potatoes person, eating healthy may be reducing the amount of meat that they’re consuming. If they’re vegetarian, it could mean reducing how much dairy they eat. If they’re vegan, maybe it’s focusing on having fewer processed foods and more whole foods.

A lot of Americans feel if there’s not meat on the plate, it’s not dinner. What are your thoughts on that?

Depending on your background, most of our ancestors ate meat, but it was in a very small amount. It was once a week, or it was an accent on the plate, never the center of the plate. We’ve turned that around, where now we eat animal protein three times a day, seven days a week. That may be one reason we have so much heart disease, cancer and stroke. All three of those may be linked to diet.

If someone wants to have a “meatless Monday” or to just introduce more plant-based dishes into the diet, what’s an easy way to do that?

A really easy way is to . go out and explore some of the great restaurants that we have in L.A. If you’re craving vegan fast food, there’s the Veggie Grill. Gracias Madre opened in West Hollywood, offering great Mexican vegan food. There’s Shojin if you want Japanese food — there are really top-notch plant-based restaurants all over Los Angeles. That would be a good place to start. A way to approach it at home is to find a meal that you’re used to eating and to try and make a vegan version of it. If you’ve got a traditional potpie recipe, leave the chicken out and put in a really meaty mushroom, like a porcini mushroom. Or making a meal like tacos or chili with meatless crumbles or beans is an easy “meatless Monday” dinner.

Being a chef can be pretty punishing physically. How do you stay fit, and do you picture doing this forever?

You’re constantly on your feet, running around a lot, definitely breaking a sweat during service when you’re cooking. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of extra time. I wish I did I would find more time to exercise. But because I eat healthy, I stay fit.

This is my profession, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. At the end of the night, you’ve fed 200 people, and most have really enjoyed themselves. It’s a new experience for some of them, and it’s very gratifying that you were a part of that. And you repeat that every night.


Puzzling Death of Chicago’s Whirlwind Chef, Homaro Cantu

CHICAGO — As people in the restaurant business here remember the chef Homaro Cantu, who took his own life this week, they describe a man who was always willing to take on one more thing.

He had Moto, his Michelin-starred avant-garde restaurant in this city’s meatpacking district, and a cafe, Berrista. He was putting together an innovative brewery, Crooked Fork, and finishing his second cookbook. He apparently said yes to every charity that came his way, and was the driving force (and board president) behind the Trotter Project, a nonprofit group that offers career guidance for young people with an interest in cooking.

A self-taught inventor, Mr. Cantu, 38, was constantly devising gadgets and techniques, at least two of which were patented. He dreamed of cooking interplanetary snacks for the entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space-travel venture. He proclaimed that he would banish world hunger with something called the miracle berry.

“He created an environment where you weren’t afraid,” said Richie Farina, the executive chef at Moto, which experimented with edible paper menus and aromatic utensils. “ ‘No’ was never a word you heard here. His thing was always, ‘How do you do more?’ ”

But the questions that lingered all week in Chicago, as Mr. Cantu’s stunned friends and colleagues tried to imagine why he would hang himself in the warehouse space for the brewery, were these: Had he taken on too much? Had something pushed him to the breaking point?

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The three-ring circus that Mr. Cantu set in motion is not unusual in this age of the superstar chef, when the successful cook is expected to build empires and brands, to champion causes and to spawn visionary ideas. But the glowing news media coverage that follows can gloss over the bombardment of demands and crises that chefs have to negotiate as their enterprises expand.

“Man, what a stressful occupation we have,” said Paul Kahan, whose restaurant the Publican is a few blocks from Moto and who frequently crossed paths with Mr. Cantu in charity work. “In the public’s eyes, you’re not relevant unless you’re opening new stuff and moving forward. The stress of that kind of creative pressure that he put on himself, and the stress of business, and the stress from the public to be relevant — they just compound. Every restaurant is a collection of five million different details. If you let all those things compound, you’ll go insane.”

For Mr. Cantu, the last few years added personal and professional losses. In the fall of 2013, his revered father figure, Charlie Trotter — one of the first celebrity chefs — died of a stroke. And in the spring of 2014, Mr. Cantu was forced to shut one of his restaurants, iNG. Recently, some key employees left Moto, and Mr. Farina indicated that he would step down this week as executive chef new recruits would have to be trained to understand Moto’s expectation-thwarting, science-minded cuisine.

Last month, an embarrassing lawsuit was filed by an investor in Moto and iNG, Alexander Espalin, who asserted that Mr. Cantu should be removed because he had used revenue from Moto to shore up the failing iNG and subsidize his personal projects.

Mr. Espalin did not respond to phone messages seeking comment. On the morning after Mr. Cantu’s death, his widow, Katie McGowan, referred to the lawsuit as “garbage” in a post on Facebook. “It was just another case of someone trying to make a buck off of him or take credit for his ideas,” she wrote. Ms. McGowan told The Chicago Tribune that her husband had no history of mental illness or depression, and had left no suicide note.

On Thursday, the day before Mr. Cantu’s funeral, current and former employees gathered in Moto’s basement kitchen to cook a vast potluck feast for Ms. McGowan and the couple’s two young daughters. Steps away from the glass-boxed Class IV laser that the chef used for gastronomic experiments, they spoke of Mr. Cantu as a generous, cheerful, perpetually idea-driven man who seemed to be unfazed by all the pressures of his work.

“He was in a good mood, he was happy, we were talking about the future and all the good stuff that’s going on,” said Trevor Rose-Hamblin, Moto’s former general manager and Mr. Cantu’s chief partner in the brewery, who had recently traveled with his boss to Vancouver, British Columbia.

What to Cook This Weekend

Sam Sifton has menu suggestions for the weekend. There are thousands of ideas for what to cook waiting for you on New York Times Cooking.

    • Gabrielle Hamilton’s ranchero sauce is great for huevos rancheros, or poach shrimp or cubed swordfish in it.
    • If you’re planning to grill, consider grilled chicken skewers with tarragon and yogurt. Also this grilled eggplant salad.
    • Or how about a simple hot-dog party, with toppings and condiments galore?
    • These are good days to make a simple strawberry tart, the blueberry cobbler from Chez Panisse, or apricot bread pudding.
    • If you have some morels, try this shockingly good pan-roasted chicken in cream sauce from the chef Angie Mar.

    In his childhood in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Cantu and his family had often been homeless, and in his formative early professional years, he had endured the long hours and the relentless boot-camp atmosphere of Mr. Trotter’s kitchen in Chicago. As a result, perhaps, he seemed inclined to hide any tension behind a tough-as-nails facade.

    “He had this persona around him of being Teflon,” Mr. Farina said. “No matter what someone said, it didn’t faze him. He almost seemed invincible.”

    The brewery had emerged in classic Cantu style: impulsively. “I said, ‘I want a brewery,’ ” Mr. Rose-Hamblin said. “He said, ‘Let’s do it.’ It was as simple as that, no questions asked.” (Plans for the project are now uncertain, but Moto is scheduled to reopen on Saturday night.)

    Over time, the empty brewery space, on Montrose Avenue, became Mr. Cantu’s refuge, where he could slip on a white lab coat, hook up an array of blenders and experiment with a wild plan he had to turn paper into pellets that could heat buildings. “The brewery was definitely his happy place,” Mr. Rose-Hamblin said. “He could go there, he could get away. He always wanted his own lab.”

    Mr. Cantu’s voracious appetite for scientific knowledge was well documented, and there are countless anecdotes from Chicago chefs like Giuseppe Tentori, Bill Kim, Iliana Regan, Art Smith and Michael Taus about the change-the-world ideas that poured forth from him in a torrent. His patent lawyer, Chuck Valauskas, said Mr. Cantu had so many ideas so often that the primary task at hand was “triage,” the challenge of sifting through the surplus and figuring out which ideas (the “food replicator” vending machine? the see-through tabletop oven? the all-in-one knife, fork and spoon?) were likely to survive.

    “Everything that would come out of his mind was just a moonshot idea,” said Derrek Hull, who worked alongside Mr. Cantu doing publicity for both the restaurants and, later, the Trotter Project. “There are very few people that you come into contact with that really are revolutionaries.”

    Not everyone was dazzled. Brandon Baltzley, a Chicago chef and freewheeling memoirist who discussed numerous potential collaborations with Mr. Cantu, wondered whether Mr. Cantu’s childlike “excitable” personality suggested a fracturing focus. “He had his hands in so many pots and not his whole body in any one,” Mr. Baltzley said. “He was spread superthin.”

    Mr. Baltzley said he admired Mr. Cantu’s creativity but couldn’t always tell whether his deluge of dreams had a grounding in reality. “There was a sense of almost detachment from the real world,” he said. “My first impression of him was, this guy was in a fantasy place.”

    Even after Mr. Cantu closed iNG (itself a reboot of Otom, an earlier restaurant that didn’t make it), his churn of ideas didn’t appear to slow down. “You start having these small failures,” Mr. Baltzley said, “and then even with these small failures, you keep opening up new things, and I think that’s when things got really weird.”

    Mr. Cantu’s plans could come across as contagiously brilliant and commercially unworkable at the same time. Take the miracle berry, from West Africa, which he incorporated into the menu offerings at Berrista so that the cafe did not have to use refined sugar. “His idea was this berry can save the world because it makes horrible things taste good,” Mr. Baltzley said.

    A meal at Moto (more experimental than even the cooking of boundary-pushing modernists like Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne) could challenge one’s very notion of what qualifies as food. It served Kentucky Fried ice cream that supposedly tasted just like the Colonel’s secret recipe a snack that looked like foam packing peanuts but tasted like buttered popcorn and a sauce-smeared dish that was supposed to resemble roadkill.

    “He wanted people to back away from the real world and live in this fantasyland he was creating,” Mr. Baltzley said. “How often do you want to eat that food?”

    From all accounts, Mr. Cantu appeared to be almost compulsively giving: his money, his time, his encouragement. Stories of his rampant generosity abound, as do stories of his explosive creativity. “There’s a darkness that comes with those types of minds, and he definitely had that darkness,” Mr. Baltzley said.

    That much is clear from the circumstances of Mr. Cantu’s death, but it still doesn’t make sense to the people he led and inspired over the years. Mr. Rose-Hamblin said the news this week ran counter to everything he knew about him.

    “If we keep our heads down, and we experiment, we can find a solution to big, big problems,” Mr. Rose-Hamblin said. “That’s what he taught me: No matter what happens, there’s always a solution.”


    You can eat Charlie Trotter's food in 2015

    At the West Loop Whole Foods over the weekend, I saw a name that stopped me cold: Charlie Trotter. The name, with that unmistakable serif-T logo, came on a package of smoked salmon in the refrigerated seafood section.

    I've probably passed by that product a hundred times without a second thought, but this time something resonated. "It's 2015, and you can still eat Charlie Trotter's food?" I wondered.

    Trotter died unexpectedly of a stroke in 2013. His eponymous restaurant closed a year earlier, as did his Trotter's To Go gourmet takeout store in Lincoln Park.

    What stopped me in the supermarket aisle was the realization these 4-ounce, vacuum-sealed packages of salmon are likely the last remaining consumable manifestation of Charlie Trotter's culinary legacy. They're a food the public can purchase and taste right now, and lay claim: "I got to eat Charlie Trotter's cooking."

    The cold-smoked salmon is the only food product offered by Charlie Trotter Enterprises, confirmed Derrek Hull, executive director of culinary education nonprofit The Trotter Project. (The organization is hosting the second annual Charlie Trotter Day on Aug. 14 with Taus Authentic, Boka Group restaurants and m.f.k. More details here.) The fish is made by Spence & Co., a smoked seafood company in Brockton, Mass. just south of Boston, and sold in Whole Foods nationwide and at specialty grocers.

    Tom Higgins, sales manager at Spence & Co., said the company's relationship with Trotter began 12 years ago. Trotter came up with two flavors: one cured with Darjeeling tea and ginger, and the other with citrus. Higgins said that, of all the smoked fish the company offers, the Trotter recipes are "one of the most involved."

    The curing process takes 48 hours — ingredients listed in the Darjeeling tea salmon include ginger brandy, celery and fennel seeds, allspice, tarragon, tea leaves, chili peppers and star anise. The salmon then gets cold smoked with oak wood for 15 to 18 hours (cold smoking means the temperature never exceeds 94 degrees). Higgins said the Trotter salmon is among the company's top 10 best-sellers.

    I bought both varieties from Whole Foods. Both were exquisite (at $10.99 per package, they better be), and I especially loved the citrus salmon, luscious and subtle, sweet smelling, with flavors of lemon peel and the crunch of fennel seeds.

    The salmon is a reminder of Trotter's cooking ethos. He never rendered ingredients into unrecognizable states. He was never one to oversauce and overpower. Trotter possessed a light touch, allowing ingredients to live and let live, while using spices and flavors to underscore the freshness of the product.

    For the majority of us, our connection to Charlie Trotter — perhaps except a passing hello if he stopped by the table — wasn't one of personal interaction. It was through his dishes. That's how he spoke to us. So finding his name on a package of salmon came as a happy surprise. It's like finding "Sandinista!" by The Clash in the back of your records bin. You know The Clash will never make new music, but putting the album on reminds you just how awesome the band was.


    The twittersphere says goodbye to Trotter

    A sad day for the culinary world. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Trotter family. Charlie Trotter was a true pioneer in the culinary…

    — Bistro Bella Vita (@bistrobellavita) November 6, 2013

    The food world lost a great chef & we lost a great friend w the death of #CharlieTrotter. http://t.co/wxYHe3kxYh

    — Steven Raichlen (@sraichlen) November 6, 2013

    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.

    — Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 5, 2013


    Scope and Content

    Series 1: Biographical

    The Biographical series encompasses the Chef Trotter’s personal investment developing his culinary art. This series includes personal awards and media coverage and importantly, a small number of collegiate and culinary school materials, including Trotter’s early recipe and food manuscript notebooks that provide a glimpse into his culinary and restaurant development.

    Series 2: Restaurants

    The Restaurants series is arranged alphabetically by restaurant or topic. Similar items within this arrangement, such as invitations, media or menus are listed together chronologically. The materials include artifacts, menus and media coverage, the bulk of which are from Chef Trotter’s Chicago restaurant.

    Series 3: Culinary Projects

    Subseries A: General

    The Culinary Work series contains Chef Trotter’s culinary activities outside of his restaurants such as his cookbook production, charitable work, collaborations with other culinary professions, special events, speaking engagements and television program. The represented materials are in a variety of formats that include artifacts, media coverage, menus and television programs.

    Series 3: Culinary Projects

    Subseries B: Charlie Trotter Cookbook and Personal Library Separations

    Charlie Trotter kept two sizable libraries: culinary and personal. Please consult the Charlie Trotter Cookbook Collection or the Charlie Trotter Personal Library for more details.

    His culinary library contained over 1300 books, related to cooking, wine and the restaurant industry from around the world. Besides authoring his own cookbooks, Trotter was included in culinary compilations and wrote introductions and endorsements to the works of other chefs. Additionally, many of the titles in his culinary collection were given to him by notable chefs or cookbook publishers.

    Trotter’s personal library contained over 700 volumes that spanned numerous subjects including art, literature, music, philosophy, political science and travel.

    A number of the volumes in the Charlie Trotter Cookbook Collection and to a lesser extent, the Charlie Trotter Personal Library, contain inscriptions and letters from authors, chefs, friends and publishers. The original letters along with menus and handwritten notes have been removed from the volumes in this collection for preservation purposes. These materials are arranged alphabetically by who wrote the letter to Trotter or by restaurant or topic and reference the title they were removed from. Unless specifically noted, the separations are from the Charlie Trotter Cookbook Collection.

    Series 4: Photographs

    The Photographs series contains both physical and digitally created photographs. The photographs are organized into 4 subseries that correspond to the collection’s series designations: 1. Biographical, 2. Restaurants, and 3.Culinary Projects with Miscellaneous images organized into a Subseries 4. Within the Biographical and Culinary Projects the arrangement is chronological and within the Restaurants subseries, the photographs are organized chronologically by restaurant. An index at the end of this document provides photograph numbers for identified individuals. Numerous snapshots document the 20th and 21st anniversaries of Charlie Trotter’s Chicago restaurant and include chefs, dining guests, food preparation and special receptions. The anniversary images have been retained in the folder arrangement determined by Charlie Trotter or his staff. These images are organized by the events or staff activities that spanned the anniversary weekends including celebratory dinner preparations with guest chefs. Several subfolders contain an additional subfolder called “CT Selections” that contains photographs that the restaurant staff selected for their purposes.

    Photographs that begin with the prefix 1 are physical materials and photographs that begin with the prefix 2 were created digitally and will be made available in that format in the Special Collections Reading Room. Photographs with accession numbers are framed enlargements that include a selection of food photography by Kipling Swehla for Trotter’s publications.

    Note: The digitally created photographs are all jpegs and not high resolution.

    Series 5: Publications

    The Publications series contains books authored by or about Charlie Trotter and his restaurant.

    Note: Please consult the Charlie Trotter Cookbook Collection for all of the other culinary books that were part of his culinary library.

    Series 6: Personal Items

    This series includes music and objects that had personal significance to Charlie Trotter.

    He credits his love of jazz music to his father, Hugh Trotter who as a young man played trumpet in a band called the Trotter Sextet.

    Note: Please consult the Charlie Trotter Personal Library for selections of books that were part of his home collection.


    Bidding adieu to Charlie Trotter and trans fats

    It wasn’t Paula Deen’s career implosion. Nor the rise and fall of the Cronut. It wasn’t even the Sriracha apocalypse.

    This year’s most significant food moment was more seismic, an event 125 years in the making. For 2013 was the first time in a long time that the food world had something new to say about Thanksgiving. Turkey Day converged with Hanukkah, creating a holiday mashup that hasn’t happened since 1888, and won’t again for 79,000 years. Suddenly, foodies were aflutter with the possibilities of turkey-shaped menorahs and pumpkin latkes.

    Or maybe it only excited those of us in the culinary media trenches, the wretches who must reinvent the foods of both holidays year after year. Fair enough. Luckily, there were plenty of other food world distractions.

    Deen, for example. For a second year running, she earned the top spot in the “catastrophic PR” category. In 2012, she was flogged for announcing she had both diabetes and a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she’d until then hidden. This summer, she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past. Her endorsement, book and TV deals melted away faster than butter in a piping hot skillet.

    Then a few months later, another foodie fessed up to bad behavior. Nigella Lawson said she’d used cocaine and marijuana… And nobody seemed to mind.

    Heat fiends ended the year angsting over the future of Sriracha, the trendy hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle. The trouble started when people living near the Irwindale, Calif.-based Huy Fong Foods complained that odors from its manufacturing plant were burning their eyes. A court ordered the company to halt production until the odors could be brought under control.

    Then last month even shipments of already bottled Sriracha were stopped after California health officials enforced stricter guidelines that require the company to age the sauces 35 days before shipping.

    But don’t worry. Though the nation may be facing a Sriracha shortage, at least we now have enough serve-yourself frozen yogurt shops to nearly rival Starbucks’ population density… Please make it stop. I understand that trends tend to be cyclical, but let’s rush this one back to the 󈨔s, shall we?

    And while we’re at it, let’s also rid ourselves of the most overused food term of 2013&mdashcelebrity chef. There are plenty of people in the food world who truly deserve that title. They tend to be smart enough to not use it. And PR people, take note&mdashany time I see somebody described as a celebrity chef, I assume they aren’t and hit delete.

    It was a year of culinary comebacks. Wonder bread, Twinkies and a host of other Hostess Brands goodies were relaunched by new owners after disappearing in 2012 when the company went out of business.

    One thing that won’t be coming back? Artificial trans fats. The FDA announced in November it will require the food industry to phase out the ingredient that once was a staple of baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods.

    Better make sure you keep those new Twinkies away from school cafeterias. Federal officials this summer announced new rules to limit the calories, fat, sugar and sodium on snacks, drinks and a la carte items sold at schools during the day, an expansion of similar rules launched last year for meals. But no need to cut back just yet the changes won’t take effect until next summer.

    Meanwhile, how to trim the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program was the biggest deal breaker in congressional budget talks on the five-year farm bill. The Republican-controlled House this summer passed a $4 billion annual cut, while the Democratic Senate passed a version cutting just $400 million a year. This month, they agreed to disagree until the end of January, when they’ll need to take up the issue again.

    America’s obsession with cultish hard-to-get foods was over-the-top. The McRib? So last year. The must-eat items of 2013 were all about exclusivity&mdashFrench chef Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, and Keizo Shimamoto’s ramen burger, a beef patty served between “buns” of ramen noodles. Trouble is, the lines were so long that by the time you got one, they were no longer hip.

    You missed those trends? You were probably busy eating Greek yogurt and kale salads. In fact, pretty much all things vegetable and vegan were hot (cue the smug look from all the hippies who knew this back in the 󈨊s). This summer’s crop of food magazines was so smitten with vegetables, they seemed to forget a lot of people like to grill meat, too.

    In other media news, the Food Network turned 20 (Bam!), ABC’s “The Chew” spit out its 500th episode, Gordon Ramsay’s Fox show “Kitchen Nightmares” went viral after featuring an Arizona couple having an epic meltdown, and popular recipe website Allrecipes.com spun off into a real world print edition with Allrecipes magazine.

    In the restaurant world, fast-food workers protested pay levels, photo apps continued to disrupt meals (and annoy restaurateurs), computer tablets increasingly displaced old-fashioned menus and order pads, and we almost lost Alice Waters’ iconic Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse to fire in March (it reopened this summer).

    But the food world did lose three icons. Chicago chef Charlie Trotter died at age 54 in November from a stroke. He was credited with reinvigorating fine dining in America and putting Chicago at the vanguard of the food world. Marcella Hazan, who taught generations of Americans how to create simple, fresh Italian food, died in September at 89. And Judy Rodgers, the award-winning chef behind San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, died this month at 57.

    What’s in store for 2014? We’ve yet to crack the code for the perfect cookbook app. Will this be the year? Let’s all cross our fingers that the gluten-free bubble finally bursts. The Olympics will have us (briefly) smitten with vodka and pirozhki. Well, maybe the vodka part of that affair won’t be brief. And while veggies will still be hot, sustainable seafood could be the new kale.


    Food year in review: Hello to Cronuts, goodbye to Charlie Trotter

    FILE - This July 15, 2013 file photo shows Twinkies in Gilbert, Ariz. It was a year of culinary comebacks. Wonder bread, Twinkies and a host of other Hostess Brands goodies were relaunched by new owners after disappearing in 2012 when the company went out of business. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

    FILE - In this June 26, 2013 file image released by NBC, celebrity chef Paula Deen appears on NBC News' "Today" show in New York. Deen dissolved into tears during a "Today" show interview about her admission that she used a racial slur in the past. For a second year running, she earned the top spot in the “catastrophic PR” category. In 2012, she was flogged for announcing she had both diabetes and a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she'd until then hidden. This summer, she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past. Her endorsement, book and TV deals melted away faster than butter in a piping hot skillet. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer, File)

    FILE - In this Oct 29, 2013 file photo, Sriracha chili sauce bottles are produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif. eat fiends ended the year angsting over the future of Sriracha, the trendy hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle. The trouble started when people living near the Irwindale, Calif.-based Huy Fong Foods complained that odors from its Sriracha manufacturing plant were burning their eyes. A court ordered the company to halt production until the odors could be brought under control. Then last month even shipments of already bottled Sriracha were stopped after California health officials enforced stricter guidelines that require the company to age the sauces 35 days before shipping. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

    FILE - This June 3, 2013 file photo shows chef Dominique Ansel making Cronuts, a croissant-donut hybrid, at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York. Ansel makes only 200 to 250 Cronuts every morning and has been selling out within an hour. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    It wasn’t Paula Deen’s career implosion. Nor the rise and fall of the Cronut. It wasn’t even the Sriracha apocalypse.

    This year’s most significant food moment was more seismic, an event 125 years in the making. For 2013 was the first time in a long time that the food world had something new to say about Turkey Day.

    Thanksgiving converged with Hanukkah, creating a holiday mashup that hasn’t happened since 1888, and won’t again for 79,000 years. Suddenly, foodies were aflutter with the possibilities of turkey-shaped menorahs and pumpkin latkes.

    Or maybe it only excited those of us in the culinary media trenches, the wretches who must reinvent the foods of both holidays year after year. Fair enough. Luckily, there were plenty of other food world distractions.

    Paula Deen, for example. For a second year running, she earned the top spot in the “catastrophic PR” category.

    In 2012, she was flogged for announcing she had both diabetes and a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she had hidden until then. This summer, she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past. Her endorsement, book and TV deals melted away faster than butter in a piping-hot skillet.

    Then a few months later, another foodie fessed up to bad behavior. Nigella Lawson said she had used cocaine and marijuana. And nobody seemed to mind.

    Heat fiends ended the year agonizing over the future of Sriracha, the trendy hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle. The trouble started when people living near the Irwindale, Calif.-based Huy Fong Foods complained that odors from its manufacturing plant were burning their eyes. A court ordered the company to halt production until the odors could be brought under control.

    Then last month, even shipments of already bottled Sriracha were stopped after California health officials enforced stricter guidelines that require the company to age the sauces 35 days before shipping.

    But don’t worry. Though the nation may be facing a Sriracha shortage, at least we now have enough serve-yourself frozen yogurt shops to nearly rival Starbucks’ population density. Please make it stop. I understand that trends tend to be cyclical, but let’s rush this one back to the 󈨔s, shall we?

    And while we’re at it, let’s also rid ourselves of the most overused food term of 2013 — celebrity chef. There are plenty of people in the food world who truly deserve that title. They tend to be smart enough to not use it. And PR people, take note — any time I see somebody described as a celebrity chef, I assume they aren’t and hit delete.

    It was a year of culinary comebacks. Wonder bread, Twinkies and a host of other Hostess Brands goodies were relaunched by new owners after disappearing in 2012, when the company went out of business.

    One thing that won’t be coming back? Artificial trans fats. The FDA announced in November it will require the food industry to phase out the ingredient that once was a staple of baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods.

    Better make sure you keep those new Twinkies away from school cafeterias. Federal officials this summer announced new rules to limit the calories, fat, sugar and sodium on snacks, drinks and a la carte items sold at schools during the day, an expansion of similar rules launched last year for meals. But no need to cut back just yet the changes won’t take effect until next summer.

    Meanwhile, how to trim the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program was the biggest deal breaker in congressional budget talks on the five-year farm bill. The Republican-controlled House this summer passed a $4 billion annual cut, while the Democratic Senate passed a version cutting just $400 million a year. This month, they agreed to disagree until the end of January, when they’ll need to take up the issue again.

    America’s obsession with cultish hard-to-get foods was over-the-top. The McRib? So last year. The must-eat items of 2013 were all about exclusivity — French chef Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, and Keizo Shimamoto’s ramen burger, a beef patty served between “buns” of ramen noodles. Trouble is, the lines were so long that by the time you got one, they were no longer hip.

    You missed those trends? You were probably busy eating Greek yogurt and kale salads. In fact, pretty much all things vegetable and vegan were hot (cue the smug look from all the hippies who knew this back in the 󈨊s). This summer’s crop of food magazines was so smitten with vegetables, it seemed to forget a lot of people like to grill meat, too.

    In other media news, the Food Network turned 20 (Bam!), ABC’s “The Chew” spit out its 500th episode, Gordon Ramsay’s Fox show “Kitchen Nightmares” went viral after featuring an Arizona couple having an epic meltdown, and popular recipe website Allrecipes.com spun off into a real-world print edition with Allrecipes magazine.

    In the restaurant world, fast-food workers protested pay levels, photo apps continued to disrupt meals (and annoy restaurateurs), computer tablets increasingly displaced old-fashioned menus and order pads, and we almost lost Alice Waters’ iconic Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse to fire in March (it reopened this summer).

    But the food world did lose three icons.

    Chicago chef Charlie Trotter died at age 54 in November from a stroke. He was credited with reinvigorating fine dining in America and putting Chicago at the vanguard of the food world.

    Marcella Hazan, who taught generations of Americans how to create simple, fresh Italian food, died in September at 89.

    And Judy Rodgers, the award-winning chef behind San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, died this month at 57.

    What’s in store for 2014? We’ve yet to crack the code for the perfect cookbook app. Will this be the year? Let’s all cross our fingers that the gluten-free bubble finally bursts. The Olympics will have us (briefly) smitten with vodka and pirozhki. Well, maybe the vodka part of that affair won’t be brief. And while veggies will still be hot, sustainable seafood could be the new kale.


    From Cronuts to Sriracha, 2013 a tasty year

    FILE - In this May 7, 2012 file photo, chef Charlie Trotter poses with a glass of champagne and his medal for Humanitarian of the Year during the James Beard Foundation Awards in New York. The award-winning chef died in November, a year after closing his eponymous Chicago restaurant that is credited with elevating the city's cuisine and providing a training ground for some of the nation's other best chefs. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File) Photo Gallery

    It wasn’t Paula Deen’s career implosion. Nor the rise and fall of the Cronut. It wasn’t even the Sriracha apocalypse.

    This year’s most significant food moment was more seismic, an event 125 years in the making. For 2013 was the first time in a long time that the food world had something new to say about Thanksgiving. Turkey Day converged with Hanukkah, creating a holiday mashup that hasn’t happened since 1888, and won’t again for 79,000 years. Foodies were aflutter with the possibilities of turkey-shaped menorahs and pumpkin latkes.

    Or maybe it only excited those of us in the culinary media trenches. Luckily, there were plenty of other food world distractions.

    Deen, for example. For a second year, she earned the top spot in the “catastrophic PR” category. In 2012, she was flogged for announcing she had both diabetes and a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she’d until then hidden. This summer, she acknowledged having used racial slurs in the past. Her endorsement, book and TV deals melted away faster than butter in a hot skillet.

    Then a few months later, another foodie fessed up to bad behavior. Nigella Lawson said she’d used cocaine and marijuana — and nobody seemed to mind.

    Heat fiends ended the year angsting over the future of Sriracha, the trendy hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle. The trouble started when people living near Irwindale, Calif.-based Huy Fong Foods complained that odors from the plant were burning their eyes. A court ordered the company to halt production until the odors could be brought under control.

    Then last month even shipments of already bottled Sriracha were stopped after California health officials enforced stricter guidelines that require the company to age the sauces 35 days before shipping.

    But don’t worry. Though the nation may be facing a Sriracha shortage, at least we now have enough serve-yourself frozen yogurt shops to nearly rival Starbucks’ population density … Please make it stop. I understand that trends tend to be cyclical, but let’s rush this one back to the 󈨔s.

    It was a year of culinary comebacks. Wonder bread, Twinkies and a host of other Hostess Brands goodies were relaunched by new owners after disappearing in 2012 when the company went out of business.

    One thing that won’t be coming back? Artificial trans fats. The FDA announced in November it will require the food industry to phase out the ingredient that once was a staple of baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods.

    Better make sure you keep those Twinkies away from school cafeterias. Federal officials this summer announced new rules to limit the calories, fat, sugar and sodium on snacks, drinks and a la carte items sold at schools during the day, an expansion of similar rules launched last year for meals. But no need to cut back just yet the changes won’t take effect until summer.

    America’s obsession with cultish hard-to-get foods was over-the-top. The McRib? So last year. The must-eat items of 2013 were all about exclusivity — French chef Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, and Keizo Shimamoto’s ramen burger, a beef patty served between “buns” of ramen noodles. Trouble is, the lines were so long that by the time you got one, they were no longer hip.

    You missed those trends? You were probably busy eating Greek yogurt and kale salads. In fact, pretty much all things vegetable and vegan were hot.

    In other media news, the Food Network turned 20 (Bam!), Gordon Ramsay’s Fox show “Kitchen Nightmares” went viral after featuring an Arizona couple having an epic meltdown, and popular recipe website Allrecipes.com spun off into a real world print edition with Allrecipes magazine.

    But the food world did lose three icons. Chicago chef Charlie Trotter died at age 54 in November from a stroke. He was credited with reinvigorating fine dining in America and putting Chicago at the vanguard of the food world. Marcella Hazan, who taught generations of Americans how to create simple, fresh Italian food, died in September at 89. And Judy Rodgers, the award-winning chef behind San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, died this month at 57.


    The Last Post on Charlie Daniels' Twitter Account Couldn't Be More Fitting

    Don Murry Grubbs, Charlie Daniels’ publicist, confirmed that the 83-year-old died Monday morning from a hemorrhagic stroke.

    The country music giant, best known for his 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” worked with other famous musicians and singers and continued to perform into his 80s.

    His website posted to confirm his death.

    “Country music and southern rock legend Charlie Daniels has passed,” the website’s news page reads. “The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member died this morning at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee. Doctors determined the cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.”

    “My heart is crushed today after hearing that my dear friend Charlie Daniels has passed away,” Travis Tritt posted on Instagram. “Charlie was the first legendary artist to take me under his wing and encourage me when I was first getting started in the business.”

    “He was always there for me when I needed him. I have so many great memories of touring, performing, writing and recording with Charlie, but my favorite memories are of simply talking with the man when it was just the two of us alone. Farewell dear friend until we meet again. Thank you for being such a friend, mentor and inspiration to me. I will always be grateful.”

    This morning, in a tribute to the singer and musician, Daniels’ Twitter account shared a fitting piece that he performed in April 2018.

    “He’s Alive” – Charlie Daniels & World Outreach Church Worship team. – TeamCDB/BW https://t.co/8oLeAgFqZX

    — Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) July 6, 2020

    The song, “He’s Alive,” about Jesus’ resurrection, is a beautiful reminder of Daniels’ faith and reassurance of where he is now.

    “I try to make [faith] the number one thing in my life,” he told Fox News in June 2016. “I want everything I do to be affected by my faith. I’m a Christian so I want everything I do to fall in line with my Christianity and beliefs.”

    Fans have flooded the post with their farewells and fond memories.

    “Just heard the news,” wrote one. “As a long time follower I know where he is right at this moment, playing fiddle in The Heavenly Choir. R.I.P. Mr. Daniels.”

    “I will miss his music and I will miss him boldly standing up for our country,” wrote another. “And I will miss his nightly ‘Guess I’ll hang it up for tonight- goodnight planet earth.’ We’ve lost another treasure. RIP Charlie Daniels.”

    Other high-profile friends of Daniels’ also shared their fondest memories and recollections with the world.

    Brad Paisley shared some words that he’d written for his friend’s biography.

    “A tale of hard work, musical discovery, and faith, Charlie Daniels’s journey has been one of a kind,” he tweeted in a photo. “Equal parts rebel rouser and apostle, it’s no small coincidence he launched his career by beating the Devil with a fiddle in hand. I love this man, the things he stands for, and his music. What a story.”

    I wrote these words for Charlie’s biography. They ring even more true now.
    I’m so sad he’s gone.
    We have so many memories together, and I am so blessed to have known him.
    Rest In Peace my friend. We love you. @CharlieDaniels pic.twitter.com/3Pg5eWPtIf

    — Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) July 6, 2020

    Luke Bryan also shared his sentiments, recognizing Daniel’s talent and character.

    “Just learning of the passing of this great man,” he wrote. “What a hero. A true patriot, Christian, and country music icon. Prayers to his family. Thank you for all your contributions on and off the stage. God bless you Charlie Daniels.”

    Just learning of the passing of this great man. What a hero. A true patriot, Christian, and country music icon. Prayers to his family. Thank you for all your contributions on and off the stage. God bless you Charlie Daniels. pic.twitter.com/BiQ4FlAlPc

    — Luke Bryan (@LukeBryanOnline) July 6, 2020

    In a tweet Sunday, Daniels shared a Bible verse that carried special meaning a day later.

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans-8,” he wrote.

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