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Charlie Trotter Topic


awbrig
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My husband and I have reservations next Thursday for dinner at Charlie Trotters. I've been wanting to eat there for some time. My husband is going to attend a Chocolatier class in Chicago and I am going to catch up with him later on to take care of some business there.

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P.s.  I had to giggle at this "Michigan Raspberries" because all the raspberries I have seen in Michigan come from California.  ;-)

You clearly weren't hitting the Farmer's Markets in August then - tons of awesome raspberries that put those nasty Californian things to shame.

http://tammystastings.blogspot.com/2006/09...wo-berries.html

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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P.s.  I had to giggle at this "Michigan Raspberries" because all the raspberries I have seen in Michigan come from California.  ;-)

You clearly weren't hitting the Farmer's Markets in August then - tons of awesome raspberries that put those nasty Californian things to shame.

http://tammystastings.blogspot.com/2006/09...wo-berries.html

Agreed. We had gorgeous raspberries here in GR well into September. So, Maria -- it's time to stop Krogering and start Farmers Market-ing. :biggrin:

I'm looking forward to hearing your Trotter's report, but also please keep us posted on any chocolate developments.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 4 weeks later...

For the record, this item appeared in several news sources yesterday, including the AP, via the Chicago Tribune:

Charlie Trotter, an iconic chef whose name is synonymous with Chicago's gourmet cuisine, wants to dish out a second helping of his five-star meals.

Trotter, a Chicago native whose self-titled restaurant draws gourmands and members of the expense-account set, announced Wednesday he plans to open a second Chicago eatery in a new 60-story luxury hotel and condominium project.

The as-yet-unnamed restaurant -- a fine-dining, dinner-only venue that will have a more casual dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- is scheduled to open in October 2008 at The Elysian Hotel on the Gold Coast.

Of course, after what didn't happen at the Time Warner Center in NYC, it's probably wise to view this 'news' with a grain of salt.

Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter to open new restaurant by Ashley M. Heher.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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For the record, this item appeared in several news sources yesterday, including the AP, via the Chicago Tribune:
Charlie Trotter, an iconic chef whose name is synonymous with Chicago's gourmet cuisine, wants to dish out a second helping of his five-star meals.

Trotter, a Chicago native whose self-titled restaurant draws gourmands and members of the expense-account set, announced Wednesday he plans to open a second Chicago eatery in a new 60-story luxury hotel and condominium project.

The as-yet-unnamed restaurant -- a fine-dining, dinner-only venue that will have a more casual dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- is scheduled to open in October 2008 at The Elysian Hotel on the Gold Coast.

Of course, after what didn't happen at the Time Warner Center in NYC, it's probably wise to view this 'news' with a grain of salt.

Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter to open new restaurant by Ashley M. Heher.

=R=

A bit off topic but i recently ate at Charlie Trotters and picked up his book Lessons in Service, very impressive book

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  • 8 months later...
Very cool.  Congrats to CT and his whole team.  They may no longer be considered the top restaurant in Chicago, but they certainly paved the way.  And dispite what some say, I think their food is still relevant and quite enjoyable.

I think their food is still as delicious and creative as ever. They are still creating wonderful food after twenty years, and they never really fell into a "rut" of familiarity. Furthermore, just because a few others have come along with even more acclaim, I don't think it diminishes their achievements in any way. For anyone to be one of the top restaurants in one of the top restaurant cities in the world is quite an achievement; for a place to be considered in that stratosphere for twenty years is that much more unusual an accomplishment. Congratulations indeed!

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These celebrations should be extraordinary, especially the October 7th one.

Charlie Trotter's Restaurant marks 20 Years!

October 7, 2007 | By Invitation Only

October 7, 2007 will feature Chef Charlie Trotter with acclaimed chefs Tetsuya Wakuda, Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller, Pierre Herme, Heston Blumenthal & Daniel Boulud. These culinary greats will collaborate on one incredible menu for our guests. It will be a dinner in honor of Charlie Trotter's 20th Anniversary and proceeds will go to The Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation, assisting youth with culinary scholarships as well as continuing the Excellence Program at the restaurant.

Please contact Katy Burstein for more details.

773.248.8949 x 30

Katy@CharlieTrotters.com

I would imagine that each of the visiting chefs would be preparing their own dishes. I personally would be very curious to see what Adria would choose to prepare for this.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Congratulations to Chef Charlie Trotter and the restaurant for their 20 year anniversary. The Chicago Sun Times has a write-up and and little genealogy. The Chicago Reader also did a graphical version, which is worth a look (pdf).

:cool:

Apropos of that genealogy: I'm beginning to think that Trotter's ultimate contribution and legacy -- to cuisine in general, and cuisine as it is practiced in Chicago in particular -- won't actually be what he did in his kitchen (as superb as so much of that is), so much as whom he taught. Take a gander around town and observe how many fine artists (Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Grant Achatz, Michael Taus, and others) have graduated from Charlie's kitchen. Whatever his flaws, the guy's got *plenty* to be proud of. So have we, in Chicago.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Congratulations to Chef Charlie Trotter and the restaurant for their 20 year anniversary. The Chicago Sun Times has a write-up and and little genealogy. The Chicago Reader also did a graphical version, which is worth a look (pdf).

:cool:

Apropos of that genealogy: I'm beginning to think that Trotter's ultimate contribution and legacy -- to cuisine in general, and cuisine as it is practiced in Chicago in particular -- won't actually be what he did in his kitchen (as superb as so much of that is), so much as whom he taught. Take a gander around town and observe how many fine artists (Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Grant Achatz, Michael Taus, and others) have graduated from Charlie's kitchen. Whatever his flaws, the guy's got *plenty* to be proud of. So have we, in Chicago.

:biggrin:

Hello- Michael Lutes-who also worked under Trotter- is now the chef at The Whitney in Detroit,MI. Chicago should indeed be proud of Mr. Trotter, he is raising the quality of resturants through the entire Heartland :cool:

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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  • 3 months later...

I'd like to share an experience that happened to some friends and coworkers of mine this weekend. I'd love to hear if anyone here has heard of this, as it seemed almost too serendipitous to be real. Unfortunately, I was not a part of Saturday afternoon's events, but I was informed of what happened in intimate detail by my glowing friends.

Anyway, as part of a scavenger hunt a large group of us was doing as part of a company bonding weekend (bear with me), one of the stops was Charlie Trotter. Not for a meal, but just for a picture in front of the restaurant. My group arrived before many others, took our picture, and headed on our way. It was my first time seeing the restaurant so I was poking around outside a little bit, but there wasn't a lot of activity.

About five minutes later, several other groups arrive (about 15 people total) and began taking pictures in front of the restaurant. A man walks out of the restaurant and says something to the effect of "Why are you taking pictures, you must be cold [it was snowing at the time], you've got to come in an eat."

Since I was not present, no one in the group recognized Chef Trotter immediately. Chef Trotter proceeded to let them into the restaurant, into a private room, and served them a four course lunch, with wines, gratis. Seriously. I'm still bitter I wasn't there more than a day later.

So, has anyone heard of this before? Chef Trotter claimed that he does this from time to time. I can't imagine why. The people were all young, college-aged individuals, many dressed in jeans and hooded sweatshirts. There is the chance that my firm set this up as part of a private, "secret" event, but even the recruiters were completely shocked by the events that transpired.

My theory, if we assume this wasn't planned, is that Chef Trotter foresaw a good deal of no shows for that night's service due to the bad weather and decided to take pity on a bunch of cold student-looking types.

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Chef Trotter claimed that he does this from time to time.  I can't imagine why.  The people were all young, college-aged individuals, many dressed in jeans and hooded sweatshirts.  There is the chance that my firm set this up as part of a private, "secret" event, but even the recruiters were completely shocked by the events that transpired.

My theory, if we assume this wasn't planned, is that Chef Trotter foresaw a good deal of no shows for that night's service due to the bad weather and decided to take pity on a bunch of cold student-looking types.

Just conjecture. From a businessman's point of view, I believe he sees these "young, college-aged individuals" as future clients. Even by word of mouth, good will goes a long way in advertising. I like Charlie trotter and have most of his great books.

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I wouldn't doubt this one bit. This past September we went up to Chicago for a Cubs game and went to Trotter's To Go after. Then (believe it or not) we walked all the way from Trotter's To Go to his main restaurant. I had my wife snap a picture of me in front of the restaurant and one of the valet guys was standing outside. I had just purchased Trotter's Spa Cuisine book at CTG and asked the guy if Chef Trotter was available to sign it. Why not, right? I'm there so I tried. Turns out that he was not in yet, but the valet came back out with a nice large 20th Anniversary Trotter bag and he had also added a book and a CT baseball hat. He said the restaurant apologizes that he was not there, and sent me away with some pretty nice things. Things I didn't even ask for. I've never been let down by that place as long as it's been around.

Edited by avant-garde (log)

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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A while back, two fellow cooks that I worked with, took a short road trip to Illinois to eat at Trio (when Achatz was there). They had one extra day to tour Chicago. One of the stops they chose was Charlie Trotter's. They had no intention of eating there. They just wanted to check out the restaurant since they were both, as many cooks are, big fans of Trotter's work. When they were there, they were also taking pictures and looking inside, trying to get a peek of the dining rooms, like a couple of kids looking into a toy store.

Then, a man appeared at the door. He was the restaurant manager. He asked them what they were doing, and they told him. He said something to the effect of, "Why don't you come back tonight and have dinner? It'll be on the house." Of course, they accepted the offer.

They showed up and were presented with the grand tasting, wine included, free of charge. But, that's not the best part. Out of the kitchen, into the dining room, comes the man himself, Charlie Trotter, with two bags in his hands containing a personalized autographed copy of every book he had published up to that point.

So, you are not alone in this feel of jealousy that you experienced. I still feel it about four years later, everytime I read something about Trotter's.

There are may things said about Trotter, both good and bad. But, one thing is for sure, there are few chefs or restaurant owners that can compare to his generosity.

I'd like to share an experience that happened to some friends and coworkers of mine this weekend.  I'd love to hear if anyone here has heard of this, as it seemed almost too serendipitous to be real.  Unfortunately, I was not a part of Saturday afternoon's events, but I was informed of what happened in intimate detail by my glowing friends.

Anyway, as part of a scavenger hunt a large group of us was doing as part of a company bonding weekend (bear with me), one of the stops was Charlie Trotter.  Not for a meal, but just for a picture in front of the restaurant.  My group arrived before many others, took our picture, and headed on our way.  It was my first time seeing the restaurant so I was poking around outside a little bit, but there wasn't a lot of activity.

About five minutes later, several other groups arrive (about 15 people total) and began taking pictures in front of the restaurant.  A man walks out of the restaurant and says something to the effect of "Why are you taking pictures, you must be cold [it was snowing at the time], you've got to come in an eat."

Since I was not present, no one in the group recognized Chef Trotter immediately.  Chef Trotter proceeded to let them into the restaurant, into a private room, and served them a four course lunch, with wines, gratis.  Seriously.  I'm still bitter I wasn't there more than a day later.

So, has anyone heard of this before?  Chef Trotter claimed that he does this from time to time.  I can't imagine why.  The people were all young, college-aged individuals, many dressed in jeans and hooded sweatshirts.  There is the chance that my firm set this up as part of a private, "secret" event, but even the recruiters were completely shocked by the events that transpired.

My theory, if we assume this wasn't planned, is that Chef Trotter foresaw a good deal of no shows for that night's service due to the bad weather and decided to take pity on a bunch of cold student-looking types.

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"Our top story tonight - a large group of shutterbugs has convened outside the fabled Charlie Trotter's restaurant. No news yet on the reason for such a large gathering at this location. Our reporters were sent to investigate, but disappeared inside the building some time ago." :wink:

Gastronomic Fight Club - Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

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"Our top story tonight - a large group of shutterbugs has convened outside the fabled Charlie Trotter's restaurant.  No news yet on the reason for such a large gathering at this location.  Our reporters were sent to investigate, but disappeared inside the building some time ago."  :wink:

Um, that's a bit vague... care to clarify? Am I missing something? Can you link me (us) to more?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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Um, that's a bit vague... care to clarify? Am I missing something? Can you link me (us) to more?

Sorry, just imagining a large group of foodies rushing down to CT with cameras trying to score a free meal :-)

My *stoopid* bad - I didn't read the post before yours. Sounds like I need to take my camera on a tour of Trotter's. The last time I was there, I took one photograph - it was of my dining companion and myself.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Even by word of mouth, good will goes a long way in advertising. I like Charlie trotter and have most of his great books.

indeed. word of mouth already brought it to eGullet. wonderful advertising, i'd say.

but i highly doubt it is such a (financially) calculated move. sounds to me like just a beautiful display of generosity. good for him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'd like to share an experience that happened to some friends and coworkers of mine this weekend.  I'd love to hear if anyone here has heard of this, as it seemed almost too serendipitous to be real.  Unfortunately, I was not a part of Saturday afternoon's events, but I was informed of what happened in intimate detail by my glowing friends.

Anyway, as part of a scavenger hunt a large group of us was doing as part of a company bonding weekend (bear with me), one of the stops was Charlie Trotter.  Not for a meal, but just for a picture in front of the restaurant.  My group arrived before many others, took our picture, and headed on our way.  It was my first time seeing the restaurant so I was poking around outside a little bit, but there wasn't a lot of activity.

About five minutes later, several other groups arrive (about 15 people total) and began taking pictures in front of the restaurant.  A man walks out of the restaurant and says something to the effect of "Why are you taking pictures, you must be cold [it was snowing at the time], you've got to come in an eat."

Since I was not present, no one in the group recognized Chef Trotter immediately.  Chef Trotter proceeded to let them into the restaurant, into a private room, and served them a four course lunch, with wines, gratis.  Seriously.  I'm still bitter I wasn't there more than a day later.

So, has anyone heard of this before?  Chef Trotter claimed that he does this from time to time.  I can't imagine why.  The people were all young, college-aged individuals, many dressed in jeans and hooded sweatshirts.  There is the chance that my firm set this up as part of a private, "secret" event, but even the recruiters were completely shocked by the events that transpired.

My theory, if we assume this wasn't planned, is that Chef Trotter foresaw a good deal of no shows for that night's service due to the bad weather and decided to take pity on a bunch of cold student-looking types.

That makes me smile.

I'm not actually surprised at all, though. There are plenty of tales out there that paint a picture of him as somewhat of a curmudgeon, which, sadly, tend garner more attention than his many instances of extreme generosity. When I ate there, my entire meal (extended tasting with matching wines) was totally comped. I nearly fainted when I got the non-bill. Sure, I'm in the industry, but in the scheme of things, someone of very little consequence--he certainly didn't need to do anything for me above and beyond allowing me the chance to eat his food.

Edited by iheartoffal (log)

Nothing to see here.

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The first time I went to Trotter’s was back in 1994 with my roommate (who was also a line cook). Our boss, who once worked there, told him we were coming and to take care of us. Upon arriving in Chicago, I went right to the restaurant to geek out. Mind you, I had been a fan boy of the restaurant since almost my first day in a kitchen. Coincidentally enough, Charlie was walking down the alley on the side of his restaurant and saw us peeking in the window. After introducing ourselves he said, “Have you guys seen the new kitchen?” Of course, we replied that we had not. He let us hang out in the kitchen for about 30 minutes and then we left.

After coming back that same evening for dinner, Charlie came out before the Amuse course and said, “Come with me I have someone I want you guys to meet next door.” This was back before the studio kitchen existed, and it was just office space. Low and behold, it was Emeril sitting on the couch talking with Charlie’s then wife (I believe they are not together anymore). While even cool now, it was a bigger deal back then. As a young cook, I nearly lost my mind that day with inspiration. I still consider it one of the best days I have ever had.

"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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