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awbrig

Charlie Trotter Topic

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:wink:

Do, please. I'm going there tomorrow night, and now I'm wondering what to expect.

:hmmm:


Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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I ate at Charlie Trotter's last Monday night with the unactive (or wait...is it reactive?) Awbrig and had an excellent time. Everything was on...the food was done perfectly, service was great (Awbrig requested his favorite waiter, Christian, who was really cool), the upstairs dining room was comfortable and small, and Awbrig was fun as [word edited out to make this post suitable for young children] to dine with. We did a late seating at 8:30 and opted for a smaller menu (10 courses instead of 15), but got a lot of brand new dishes that were not on the regular menu and that the waiters hadn't even seen before. There were a ton of tight dishes throughout the night, and I now understand why I've heard so much about the vegetables at Trotter's--- they were done absolutely perfect. The cauliflower, mushrooms and the baby carrot salad were the standouts of vegetables and they actually took the spotlight way away from the fish or meats at times. Needless to say, I was impressed. If there was one disappointment of the night though, it was that the talented (and cute, which I can say, right?) pastry chef, Della Gosset, had gone home by the time we got into the kitchen for a tour. I wanted to gush to her about how awesome the Thai chili profiterole with curry ice cream and warm mango was, but apparently she and the chef de cuisine, Matthew Merges, start their days early -- really really early actually, for a restaurant where the hot-line is still usually up and cooking well past midnight -- at 6 a.m. :shock:

Anyway, here are the courses we ate:

Bento-box amuse (going clockwise from lower left-hand corner):

Tempura of Conch with Thai Vinaigrette

Salad of Artichoke & Hearts of Palm

Seared Pacific Katsuo with English Peas, Hijiki Seaweed & Wasabi

Salad of Tiny Carrots, Haricot Verts, Fennel & Radishes with Arugula & Swan Creek Ricotta

Steamed Maine Line-Caught Halibut with Sunchoke, Fava Beans, Cauliflower, Citrus-Chervil Vinaigrette & Iranian Osetra Caviar

Grilled Japanese Hamachi with Sweetbreads, Turnip Confit, Vidalia Onions, Morel Mushrooms & Sage Infused Morel Mushroom Consomme

Whole Roasted Squab with Escargot & Roasted Cauliflower

Triple Seared Wagyu Style Beef Strip Loin with Boudin

Jamison Farm Lamb Loin with Sweetbreads, Braised Kale & Roasted Porcini Mushrooms

Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, Lychee, Kiwi & Mango Sorbets

Thai Chili Profiterole with Curry Ice Cream, Warm Mango & Cilantro

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Banyuls Soaked Cherries and Coffee-Chocolate Sauce

Mignardises

Chocolate-Coffee Tuile with Espresso Sauce being prepared for the kitchen table in pastry (we didn't get to try this one...)

[edited, edited again (not by me), re-edited, and plans have been made to edit once more sometime tomorrow for the course descriptions. so there.]

EDIT by Jason Perlow, broken image links removed


Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

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Really beautiful. I am also inspired. I have one of those plates in the bento box amuse.

What wine did you drink?

Pretty jealous here of your meal.

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I too dined at Trotter's monday night, albeit at a different table than awbrig and ryne.

Seared Skipjack with Hijiki and Wasabi Infused Puree of Sweetpeas

Exactly like it sounds. When I asked a member of the service team what skipjack was, I was initially told it was a member of the turbot family. I was skeptical as the fish i was served was a brilliant ruby red color. When I got home, I looked skipjack up and it was a member of the tuna family.

Terrine of European Turbot with River Eel, Littleneck and White Water Clams, Sea Urchin, Prince Edward Island Mussels, Dungeness Crab and Wellfleet Oyster

One of the highlights of the evening. A slice of the fish and eel terrine on one side of the plate and the shell fish scattered over the rest of it with a watercress/creme fraiche puree and an uni puree. A few pieces of bacon really added to the dish. Crab still possessed the brininess that I find lacking in many other restaurants. I kinda wished they would've cleaned out the shitsack from the mussel. They left an unpleasant murkiness that even a gulpful of wine didn't wash out.

Steamed Line-Caught Halibut with Sunchoke, Fava Beans, Cauliflower, Citrus-Chervil Vinaigrette & Osetra Caviar

Same presentation as Awbrig's picture. I generally enjoyed this dish. The provenence of the halibut remains in question though. I was told it was from Alaska. I see that Mr. Schraw seems to have been served halibut from Maine. Halibut was maybe a touch overcooked. Undersalted as well. The caviar's salinity was necessary to the dish, but alas, there wasn't enough for the whole chunk of fish. Fava beans were also of a dull color. I'm not a cook so I can't fathom why they weren't as vibrant as I've seen in other establishments. Chunks of white asparagus added an extra dimension of flavor. Sunchoke puree didn't add a whole lot. I'm still trying to decide what kind of flavor sunchoke has. The few times I've had it haven't given me memorable flavor profiles.

Grilled Japanese Hamachi with Turnip Confit, Vidalia Onions, Morel Mushrooms & Sage Infused Morel Mushroom Consomme

Same presentation as Awbrig's picture. Perfectly cooked fish. Morel mushroom consomme poured at the table. In fact, there's quite a bit of tableside service going on at Trotter's. Lots of little finishing touches that really add an element of theatre to the evening. That being said, I wish that the consomme would've been a bit warmer. It was basically on the cold side of room temperature. The chunk of sauteed sweetbread also left me wondering why it was there. It seemed sort of 'external' in relation to the rest of the dish.

Roasted Morel, Maitake, Chanterelle & Bluet Mushrooms with Swiss Chard & Kohlrabi

The second star of the evening. Four types of roasted mushrooms. I believe the saucing to be a red wine essence. Really terrific. Lusty, earthy mushroom flavors were basically left alone to shine on their own.

Slow Roasted Breast of Squab with Eggplant

I'm a little bit confused about if the meat was actually squab or quail. My server said quail. Every other menu I see has this dish listed as squab. I heard it served to another table and described as squab. So I'm going to say that my server probably made a mistake. Sliced breast served on an eggplant puree, if my memory serves me right. Not a whole lot to say about this dish. Kinda generic.

Triple Seared Wagyu Style Beef Strip Loin, Ziti with Three Purees

Pretty tasty. It's too bad that my server initially described this dish as bison, then came by to clear the plate and apologize for the mistake. I believe it was salted, soaked in sake and then seared. Ziti were filled with purees of olive, garlic and eggplant. Very subtle flavors. I found the ziti a bit overcooked.

Bison with Boudin, Trumpet Mushrooms and Semolina Cake

Not much to say about this one. Interestingly, boudin was in the form of a puree. Semolina cake was terrific.

Cheese Plate

Five french cheeses served with red cherry compote and fig bread.

Hawaiian Pineapple & Preserved Ginger Sorbet with Manni Olive Oil & Thyme

Very, very interesting. The sorbet had a sort of astrigent flavor due to the pronounced ginger flavor, but when sampled with the olive oil, which was poured tableside, the oil sort of rounded out the rough edges on the sorbet. Thyme added a full, herbaceous flavor in the mouth. Quite a nifty dish.

Thai Chili Profiterole with Curry Ice Cream, Warm Mango & Cilantro

Profiterole sliced in half, then a quenelle of ice cream in between two halves. Cilantro sauce on the side, mango next to profiterole. Curry ice cream to close in flavor profile to the ginger sorbet served as the previous course. While I enjoyed each of these dishes, I don't think they should've been served back to back. Sweet cilantro sauce was very nice. I'm starting to enjoy the role cilantro can play in non savory application. I wish the profiterole would've had a little more chili 'bite.'

Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cream Ice Cream, Banyuls Soaked Cherries and Coffee-Chocolate Sauce

Yummy! I think most people can imagine what this might've tasted like from the description. You can't go wrong with that flavor combination. It's too bad that this dish overpowered the Trockenbeerenauslese that was served with it. Maybe serve a banyuls with it?

Mignardises

All sorts of salty caramels, marshmallows, macaroons......all bite sized and available to take home if you asked.

My notes on wine are sketchy at best but here goes...

Started with a bellini.

Isabel Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2002. Nice tropical fruit, passionfruit flavors.

Hochheimer Reichestal Riesling Kabinett Franz Kunstler, Rheingau 2002. Tastes like roasted peanuts with riesling fruit. Not terribly interesting tho. After a few sips of this one, I was bored with it.

An Italian Sangiovese blend.

Morey-St.-Denis "Les Ruchots" P. Amiot 2000

Chinon- 100% Cabernet franc

Tamarack Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2000

A Rhone Valley Syrah by the name Sotanum. A vin du pay wine, not an AOC but really, REALLY big and rich.

Saracco Moscato d'Asti

Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese, Zweigelt Rose, Neusiedlersee 1998

Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port.

Generally, things were very nice. I just wished for a little more variety in the details of the menu. Most dishes were garnished with either micro chervil or mache. I mean, couldn't they of gone out and found some different microgreens to place on their dishes? Eggplant puree also played a part in a few of the dishes. I found pronounced green onion flavor in three dishes. Olive puree and then on one of the meat dishes, there was an olive ragout. I just wish there might've been a little more variety or a dedication to making sure that the guest didn't receive the same flavor more than once. It's also not the most exciting food in the world. Some things, like the fish terrine were very well thought out, inventive and beautifully presented. Other things like the roasted mushrooms showcased pristine ingredients minimally altered. Other dishes were a little bit on the bland side, like the slowroasted breast of squab. Not to say that they didn't taste good, but they didn't make me think a whole lot. I could've been in any number of good restaurants and been served dishes of the same quality. THen again, I feel bad criticizing a restaurant with the reputation of Trotter's...

On the service front, the only thing I would've wished to see differently is that the servers be a little more secure on information about the dishes. I was presented with contradictory information on a number of occasions. Plates were left hanging out over the edge of the table so I had to push them forward or they would bump into my chest. They were, for the most part, very well informed, kind, caring individuals who really did seem as if they wanted each and every guest to have a fantastic dining experience. Kudos to the team that served me. The tour of the facility is a nice touch for the first time diner. The wine cellars contain some AMAZING bottles. I almost forgot to mention the wine list. It's a huge binder. It's amazing. Truly a world class list.

Anyhow, that's about it for now. I'm interested to hear Lady T and the awbrig/schraw table's take on things......

mike

p.s. total damage was 300 bucks. 125 for grand menu, 85 for pairing, and 14 for a glass of tokaji which i sent to a friend. tax and service charge brought the rest of it to the 300 dollar total. I also wonder who makes the decision to serve desserts on black plates. I think food just looks better on white, even if black might be a bit more dramatic. personal preference probably...


Edited by mikeczyz (log)

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BTW, what was the tariff for this luscious repast (maybe breakout wine and food)?


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Could someone please describe this dish: Thai Chili Profiterole with Curry Ice Cream, Warm Mango & Cilantro.

Diana and I are into ice cream these days, and always looking for new ideas. Hurry. She goes to camp for a month starting this weekend.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Seared Skipjack with Hijiki and Wasabi Infused Puree of Sweetpeas

Exactly like it sounds.  When I asked a member of the service team what skipjack was, I was initially told it was a member of the turbot family.  I was skeptical as the fish i was served was a brilliant ruby red color.  When I got home, I looked skipjack up and it was a member of the tuna family. 

Growing up in Miami, if we caught a Skipjack it either got thrown back or turned into chum. I don't know anyone that actually ate it. So it surprised me when I saw that it was served to you - and at of all places CT.

Think of all the good meals I missed out on! How was it? Tell me what dumb bunnies we were for throwing it back!

Cat in Chicago


cat lancaster

catchi@ix.netcom.com

Portland, OR

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Seared Skipjack with Hijiki and Wasabi Infused Puree of Sweetpeas

Exactly like it sounds.  When I asked a member of the service team what skipjack was, I was initially told it was a member of the turbot family.  I was skeptical as the fish i was served was a brilliant ruby red color.  When I got home, I looked skipjack up and it was a member of the tuna family. 

Growing up in Miami, if we caught a Skipjack it either got thrown back or turned into chum. I don't know anyone that actually ate it. So it surprised me when I saw that it was served to you - and at of all places CT.

Think of all the good meals I missed out on! How was it? Tell me what dumb bunnies we were for throwing it back!

Cat in Chicago

You certainly did miss out. Not as firm as one might think, but it was definitely delicious. Wasabi in the pea puree gave a japanese sushi restaurant feel to the dish. The flavor of the fish isn't terribly pronounced, but still, it had more character than, say, ahi tuna.

mike


Edited by mikeczyz (log)

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Seared Skipjack with Hijiki and Wasabi Infused Puree of Sweetpeas

Exactly like it sounds.  When I asked a member of the service team what skipjack was, I was initially told it was a member of the turbot family.  I was skeptical as the fish i was served was a brilliant ruby red color.  When I got home, I looked skipjack up and it was a member of the tuna family. 

Growing up in Miami, if we caught a Skipjack it either got thrown back or turned into chum. I don't know anyone that actually ate it. So it surprised me when I saw that it was served to you - and at of all places CT.

Think of all the good meals I missed out on! How was it? Tell me what dumb bunnies we were for throwing it back!

Cat in Chicago

Oh think of all the money you could have made by selling it to the Japanese.......... :biggrin:

skipjack, or katsuo in Japanese, is VERY popular in Japan.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Listen folk's, this post is not meant to inflame but to state an opinion, so please read it objectively. I suppose I will have to withstand a barrage of criticism.

Dinner at Charlie's in the kitchen.(8 months for the reservation)

Charlie not present.(If a chef is not on site, we now walk)

Repartee by the staff, word for word as reported by a Chicago restaurant review.

No cooking going on in the kitchen, assembly line with mis in place done for everything. Therfore one cannot obtain say lamb chop cut out of the center of a loin of lamb, rested for 20 minutes to insure that it is properly rare.

Charlie's cooking is what I described as 'Just in time' assembly, like Japanses auto manufacture.

The plethara of ingrediants with exotic descriptions for each dish, simply clouds the mind and tastes and in the end, I believe clouds your sensations.

It's a little like the 'Emperor's New Clothes'. No one has the guts to say that the Emperor is not wearing any!

Well, I believe that Charlie has created a style of food presentation that certainly is dramatic, certainly presents exotic sounding ingrediants in an artful style, but if you objectively think about what he is doing, it is not my style.

-Dick

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You have to admit there is a lot of cooking done in the creation of the sauces, the making of the stocks, etc. The type of food being done really requires a lot of advance preparation (hours and sometimes days) I can see much of the seafood is a la minute but the braises, sauces, desserts are done long before the place opens for service. I'm someone who enjoys cooking and can appreciate the toil that goes into a demi-glace or reduction.

I do agree that is I would hope the Chef would be in attendance for the dinner.

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Dick--I think there are several others on this site who have been somewhat underwhelmed by the Trotter experience and even faulted it for being just a little too cold or clinical. Taste, the kitchen's system or methods, whether the chef is actually in the restaurant, how a cooking or restaurant evolves or stops evolving over time, may affect perceptions and there's no need to worry about inflaming anyone. You had one visit and you reported on your sense. I don't think it should matter whether Trotter is there or not if he's done his job hiring and training the right people--but that's a much larger issue.

However, my first question for you is--how much of your assessment had to do specifically with Trotter and how much might have had more to do with a dissatisfaction of "modern" haute cooking in general?

When you say "The plethora of ingredients with exotic descriptions for each dish, simply clouds the mind and tastes and in the end, I believe clouds your sensations"--I think you're also echoing the standard rap against Trotter--if there is one--but if that "cloud" worked for you and managed to coalesce you'd be calling him a genius, as others have who reacted differently to what they had on their visits. Merely read a list of ingredients in a typical Conticini dessert--it's mind-boggling. However, once you taste it, it transcends.

You also write "I believe that Charlie has created a style of food presentation that certainly is dramatic, certainly presents exotic sounding ingredients in an artful style, but if you objectively think about what he is doing, it is not my style." Well, again, I think it's a separate, debatable issue what style Trotter created, and the array of odd or exotic ingredients is also a pretty standard rap--of those who choose to rap Trotter--but where I diverge from you is when you speak of objective thought--there's no objective thought involved when you put something in your mouth. It's good or magical or it's not. And it really shouldn't be about "your" style, it's about "his" style and your ability to embrace it or appreciate it on his terms.

Your comment about the lamb chop cut out of the center of a loin of lamb makes me wonder--are you saying this was on the menu and prepared improperly or that a restaurant of this caliber should be able to offer this to you, properly rested as you say, on demand?

I also wouldn't rap the nature of an assembly line mis en plas either. That attitude might reflect something more fundamental--perhaps a misunderstanding of the foundation behind the best, most creative cooking going on across this country. It's neither inherently better nor worse--dishes are created, shortcuts are designed--to work within this system at all price points. Many of my desserts are set up just like 'Just in time' assembly now, just like Japanese auto manufacture--and very similar to what happens on many savory lines--as things are sauteed a la minute, (or flashed, broiled, whatever) then arranged and sauced a la minute, garnished just so with the chervil and micro-greens and sent out--all at their peak. If the components are good and if the conception of the dish good, any system to deliver it is transparent to you as a diner. Your perception of what's going on behind the scenes shouldn't really impact how you taste something--and in fact, it might interfere.

The menu--and the "system" behind the menu--is a personal offer by the chef, it is an offer a diner can choose to accept or not. Do you think it's a valid criticism to expect it to be something it is not offering to be? The taste of things, however, is another matter. It should be good, extraordinary even, for its price point however it is delivered and I'm sorry it wasn't for you.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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cat lancaster:

Like you, my years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico as a child and teenager left me with a knowledge that had to slowly be de-programmed by haute cuisine, stripped bit by bit. You can eat red mullet, bonito, or skipjack tuna? One person's bait is another's dinner.

budrichard:

Charlie Trotter wears clothes (usu. nice shirts buttoned to the neck), even in a metaphorical sense. I don't think his dishes are complex to the point of creating cognitive dissonance. His style does not use big flavors that clash. If anything, I could understand somebody who was complaining because he or she was underwhelmed. His dishes tend to combine very natural, subtle flavors that harmonize in the same way as Tom Colicchio's cuisine (but with more ingredients).

Much peace,

Ian Lowe

ballast/regime


"Get yourself in trouble."

--Chuck Close

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Just received word about what promises to be a spectacular fundraising dinner at Trotter's on March 6. The event will feature Chef Trotter, Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) and Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya's) among others.

I have to say that from my limited perspective, this is just about the biggest collection of star chefs to ever cook together in Chicago.

For event details, please consult the eGullet Calendar.

=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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Just received word about what promises to be a spectacular fundraising dinner at Trotter's on March 6.  The event will feature Chef Trotter, Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) and Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya's) among others.

I have to say that from my limited perspective, this is just about the biggest collection of star chefs to ever cook together in Chicago.

For event details, please consult the eGullet Calendar.

=R=

I was just about to post about this. I would really, really love to attend. Sadly, I don't have $450.00 burning a hold in my pocket right now (or at any point in the forseeable future). Still, I hope some people manage to make it and post about (of course, if anyone wants me to go for them, I would be happy to do so :wink: )

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I was just about to post about this. I would really, really love to attend. Sadly, I don't have $450.00 burning a hold in my pocket right now (or at any point in the forseeable future). Still, I hope some people manage to make it and post about (of course, if anyone wants me to go for them, I would be happy to do so  :wink: )

It is the most costly fundraiser of this type I can remember hearing about in Chicago. I'm sure it'll be worth it and the proceeds will benefit a very worthy cause -- the Charlie Trotter Culinary Foundation. But yeah, $450 is a lot of dough and that only gets you in stag. :biggrin:

I hope that if anyone here attends, they will report back. I'm sure it's going to be a very cool event.

=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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Listen folk's, this post is not meant to inflame but to state an opinion, so please read it objectively.

I think what budrichard is trying to say is that he arrived expecting to purchase a painting, an original on canvas, toiled over for some time and what he ended up with is a lithograph on heavy bond paper fresh off the press – the same one given to 40 other people before him that evening.

Commonly, expectations are the source of disappointment in countless cases in life, if something does not conform to your pre-conceived notion, whether or not what you experience is inherently good or bad - your perception of it will most likely be negative, at least initially – unless some other element reconciles your feelings.

Imagine if you went to the studio of Renoir to see Renoir paint and to purchase a painting and when you arrive you find that not only is Renoir not painting, Renoir is not even there.

In his place are hired painters he has delegated the task of painting and no single one is creating a work in it’s entirety, one painter puts on the blue coat and then passes it to another to put on the green, looking at a template that Renoir has pre-constructed as a guide.

In and of itself there is nothing wrong with this, as for any type of mass production the assembly line model has little parallel in efficiency and if you expect to provide 180+ people per evening with paintings, it is necessary.

Lithographs can be very nice and indeed without them a great many people would not be able to have a Renoir hanging on their walls, not only because of the price - but because of the relatively small number of paintings a single man can produce.

But one should be careful not advertise the lithographs as originals, nor charge what you would charge for the original – nor ethically sign their name to them exclusively.

When it comes to any high volume professional kitchen, this may be the perception for some. They do not realize that in the majority of cases, behind the doors there is a factory, not a studio. What is being manufactured was conceived of and created in a studio format earlier and is now being cloned – with a few slight deviations here and there.

In the context it is a necessary occurrence to achieve control of the end products and their relationship to each other – a kitchen full of autonomous chefs would produce an entirely

different experience.


"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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News of yet another major, upcoming event at Trotter's was reported by Chicago Magazine's Dish this evening:

The James Beard Foundation has had a rough year, what with the various scandals and the whole board stepping down, but Charlie Trotter, for one, is still a believer. “The apple wasn’t rotten to the core,” he says. “We dealt with the problem characters, took a good look at the whole foundation, and now everything connected to it will be stronger than ever.” To show Chicago’s solidarity, Trotter will hold a James Beard event on April 17th featuring several of his alumni, including Grant Achatz (Alinea), Homaro Cantu (Moto), Graham Elliot Bowles (Avenues), and Michael Taus (Zealous).

Wow!

=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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News of yet another major, upcoming event at Trotter's was reported by Chicago Magazine's Dish this evening:
The James Beard Foundation has had a rough year, what with the various scandals and the whole board stepping down, but Charlie Trotter, for one, is still a believer. “The apple wasn’t rotten to the core,” he says. “We dealt with the problem characters, took a good look at the whole foundation, and now everything connected to it will be stronger than ever.” To show Chicago’s solidarity, Trotter will hold a James Beard event on April 17th featuring several of his alumni, including Grant Achatz (Alinea), Homaro Cantu (Moto), Graham Elliot Bowles (Avenues), and Michael Taus (Zealous).

Wow!

=R=

I saw this too. I wonder, will this be open to the public. I've heard nothing about it other than this...


Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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Interesting. I thought I remembered that Trotter and Achatz aren't exactly the best of friends. Trotter going so far as to deny Grant ever worked in his kitchen.

Anyone else remember that? I wonder what has changed.

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Interesting.  I thought I remembered that Trotter and Achatz aren't exactly the best of friends.  Trotter going so far as to deny Grant ever worked in his kitchen.

Anyone else remember that?  I wonder what has changed.

I was thinking about this as well...if memory serves, Achatz wasn't at Trotters for very long and was told when he left that, as he had been there for less then a year, would basically be treated as if he had never worked there (I'm basing this on a old NewCity article that I can't find on line anymore, so could be wrong). I'm sure this is fairly common and I imagine it happens quite a lot.

Still, it might be somewhat less usual for the guy leaving to become the hottest young chef in the city (and maybe even the country) :wink: I would guess that Trotter just swallowed his pride and buried the hatchet. Of course, I could be wrong and there could be some juicy gossip here...but I wouldn't know about that.

Edit: I found that article after all...here the quote I was thinking of

Charlie Trotter sat on the hood of his maroon Jaguar in the alley next to his eponymous restaurant in Chicago. A young cook approached him quietly. He told Trotter that he intended to leave, only six months into his employment. Trotter gave the cook his standard speech. He warned the cook that if he did not stay at the restaurant for a full year, that the cook would not exist, period. Trotter said, "Don't ever call me. Don't ever use me as a reference. Don't put me on your resume. As far as I am concerned, if you haven't worked here a year, you haven't worked here." The cook quit anyway. Five years later, in July of 2001, he found his way back to the area, as the new chef of Trio. The young cook is now wonderboy chef Grant Achatz--and he has returned to Trotter's home turf in an effort to find his own style, voice and maybe even his own fame.

and

In all fairness, Trotter denies that Achatz ever worked for him. When I ask him if he remembers Achatz as a young cook, Trotter says, "He most certainly was not an employee here." When I continue to push about any recollection, he then says, "I remember Grant as a really nice, polite, eager, young man but certainly not a member of the team."

Edited by VeryApe77 (log)

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Thanks, VeryApe for taking the time to find those quotations and transposing them here. I was completely unaware of this reported rift between the chefs. Either way, if the Dish piece is accurate -- and we have ZERO reason to believe it isn't -- maybe the conflict between the 2 chefs has been resolved.

Is this kind of "stonewalling" common in the cheffing biz?

=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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