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Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter dies

Famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter has died.

Officials say Trotter was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition. The 54-year old later died at the hospital.

Trotter was one of the first so-called celebrity chefs in Chicago, opening his self-titled restaurant in Lincoln Park in 1987.

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The widow of celebrity chef Charlie Trotter would like to keep his memory alive.

Rochelle Smith Trotter is hoping to build a library and cooking school in his name.  Smith Trotter is the director and treasurer of the Charlie Trotter Culinary Foundation.  She said the center would focus on Trotter’s philosophy of cuisine, service, wine and life.

The foundation’s latest tax forms show it had revenue of $135,000 and expenses of about $500,000 in 2012, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Tonight, there’s a fund raiser for the foundation in New York held by Trotter’s friend, Chef David Bouley.

Trotter died of a stroke due to high blood pressure.

An autopsy done on celebrity chef Charlie Trotter confirms he died of a stroke due to high blood pressure.

The Cook county medical examiner’s officer released autopsy results on Monday.  Neither drugs nor alcohol contributed to Trotter’s death, the medical examiner said.

The medical examiner said Trotter had a prior stroke.  Any travel that he did could not be scientifically linked to his death, according to the medical examiner.

Trotter died earlier this month at the age of 54.

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.

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Chef Rick Bayless his wife Deann Bayless. — Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 11, 2013

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.

An autopsy on the body of Chicago chef Charlie Trotter showed no signs of trauma or foul play.  However additional test will be needed to determine a cause of death.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, an autopsy was conducted Wednesday on Trotter who died Tuesday at the age of 54.

The Medical Examiner has ordered more tests including toxicology analysis.

Those tests are expected to take 6-8 weeks.

Trotter was brought to Northwestern Memorial’s emergency room in cardiac arrest and pronounced dead shortly before noon Tuesday.  He was as famous for his personality as he was for his culinary skill.

Chicago Tribune’s Restaurant Critic Phil Vettel joins WGN Morning News to talk about the legacy of Charlie Trotter

Chicago has lost one of its most famous chefs.

Charlie Trotter was found dead Monday at his home in Lincoln Park.

It appears, he suffered cardiac arrest.

The Tribune reports Trotter was aware that he had a brain aneurysm, and suffered from seizures.

Trotter was 54-years-old.

He’s being remembered as a generous philanthropist, a demanding boss, and a powerful influence on chefs who followed him.

Charlie Trotter’s restaurant closed last year.

Plans for a memorial service for trotter are being worked out now.

Details will be released in a few days.

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. “

Tribune critic Phil Vettel: Trotter cemented Chicago on the culinary map


Chicago Tribune photo

Charlie Trotter’s restaurant has been closed for more than a year now, but fans who revered the man simply known to many as “The Chef” have been passing by the history-making restaurant on West Armitage Ave ever since learning of his death.

WGN’s Tom Negovan has more.

Graham Elliot Bowles: Trotter’s death is “a loss you can’t really describe”