Chicago, culinary world mourn loss of chef Charlie Trotter

Famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter died Monday at the age of 54.

Sources say Trotter was brought to Northwestern Memorial’s emergency room in cardiac arrest and pronounced dead shortly before noon.

WGN was told Trotter’s son discovered his father unconscious inside their Lincoln Park home about 10:45 a.m. Monday  and called 911.

Trotter was as famous for his personality as he was for his culinary skill.

Known as both generous, through his philanthropy, and a stern, exacting boss by former employees, we saw Trotter in a different light since closing his restaurant last year.

The chef ended an auction early that was to sell his restaurant’s supplies.   In the past few months, he was sued over a bottle of wine he sold for thousands of dollars.

And in August, the celebrity chef appeared dazed when he kicked out Chicago high school students from the After School Matters program who were going to use his former restaurant for an art showing.

charlietrottertrib2Always regarded as one of the country’s top chefs, it was in his neighborhood that people saw a neighbor, a friend and a positive person.

“He was very generous.  We had the best block party in the city,” said neighbor Chuck Shulruff.   “He would put up a table …  Everybody was in line to get his stuff. “

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1 Comment

  • J

    Disappointed that WGN chose to replay parts of your story from the day he had the issue with the kids. Not that it was okay how he behaved, but clearly was someone with some personal problems. Why can’t you keep away from the sensationalism of the previous story and merely report that he has died?

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