A public memorial was held today for master chef Charlie Trotter who died last week at the age of 54.
The who’s who of the culinary world — Emeril Lagassi, Rick Bayless and others — as well as elected officials and friends of Trotter’s came to the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 East Chestnut Street, to pay their last respects to a man whose name was synonymous with the word excellence.
“His vision was taken away from us way, way, way too early,” Bayless said.
Trotter died last Tuesday after collapsing in his home in Lincoln Park.
He took medicine for seizures, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
An autopsy could not determine the exact cause of death and toxicology tests are still pending.
Many of his culinary colleagues say despite his legendary ill temper, Trotter was a generous man who put Chicago’s culinary scene on the map.
“I think he will always be remembered as someone who paved his own path, who really cared about the field, who wanted to make it better, who did make it better,” said Trotter’s colleague, Rhonda Purwin.
A private ceremony was held yesterday for Trotter’s family and closest friends.His family is asking that donations be made in his memory to the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation.