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Gavin Convery

Charlie Trotter

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Did I gather from another post by Andy L that Charlie Trotter is planning to open a restaurant in London. Any details??


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Restaurant magazine reports in it's current issue that Trottoer is going to run the restaurants at an arts venue called hospi+al (not a typo) which is being funded by Dave Stewart. It should opne by the end of the year.

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Restaurant magazine reports in it's current issue that Trottoer is going to run the restaurants at an arts venue called hospi+al (not a typo) which is being funded by Dave Stewart. It should opne by the end of the year.

Andy -- Just as you noted.  What do you think "run" means -- supervise, create the menu for the restaurant, etc.?  :wink:

The February 4, 2002 version of Crain's Chicago Business indicated the following:

"TROTTER WILL OPEN  LONDON RESTAURANT

Chicago restaurateur  Charlie Trotter  is slated to ink a deal on Feb. 11 for a new eatery in London. The celebrated chef is in final negotiations with a development group rehabbing the old St. Paul's Hospital in Covent Garden into a center for art and entertainment, anchored by Mr. Trotter's 90-seat establishment-still unnamed-in a prime ground-floor setting. 'We expect to make a formal announcement in the next two to four weeks on this,' Mr. Trotter said.  He expects to spend considerable time in London in the summer and fall, overseeing construction, but he intends to remain a resident of Chicago and *continue cooking in his namesake Lincoln Park restaurant*. 'Later this year, I expect to be in London for four or five days every six to eight weeks,' he said."

Trotter's attendance sounds even worse than what Tetsuya originally intended for Mju.

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Restaurant magazine reports in it's current issue that Trottoer is going to run the restaurants at an arts venue called hospi+al (not a typo) which is being funded by Dave Stewart. It should opne by the end of the year.

Will it be located next to Pharmacy? :-)

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When the Trotter London gig was first rumoured a while ago, it was reported that his right hand man in Chicago would transfer to London permanently. That, in theory, could make all the difference stanards wise. It will be interesting to see if they try and replicate the Trotter experience (as I understand through rading about it but never actually trying it for myself) in the UK or tailor something site specific.

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In Wine Spectator, 31 Jan. - 28 Feb.:

"Famed chef Charlie Trotter is moving to London this summer to open a new restaurant in November 2002. His project, Charlie Trotter's at The Hospital - a new arts-and-music building in the Covent Garden district - will serve as the facility's canteen and will have a 100-seat restaurant open to the public, with a la carte menus and an extensive wine list. His namesake Chicago restaurant, among the top in the United States, will remain open iwth its current staff in place."

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restaurant mag says 2 restaurants - brasserie and fine dining (don't you just hate that phrase).

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I agree, Andy. Of course, I never patronise any place that promises un-fine dining, either.

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Below is an update from Lady T regarding Trotter in London.

I was at Trotter's in mid-April with a friend, and the place was in fine form (if anybody is interested, I did an embarrassingly extended writeup in May on the Chicago Chowhounds board).  While I was there, I spoke with one of the managers; he stated that 'Trotter's at the Hospital' in London will be opening this fall or early winter, and that Trotter will be spending one week per month in London to supervise the opening and to refine the operation during the upcoming (unspecified number of ) months.  The manager also stated, emphatically, that the flagship Armitage Avenue restaurant is staying open, as is the retail-takeout 'Trotter's to Go' operation on Fullerton Avenue. . . .

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Does anyone know the statistics regarding American-born chefs and Michelin stars? Would anyone speculate that one possible motive behind the London operation would be, in fact, to receive the one honor not possible in North America? I can't see him undertaking such a project, only to produce a "brasserie" or "canteen".


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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mlpc -- Hiramatsu opened in Paris, and received a star that was not possible to obtain in Japan. Note there are two Hiramtsu threads (one post-crash) in the France forum. :wink:

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The Hospital is a project of not only Dave Stewart but also Paul Allen (the gazillionaire who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates). It's going to include a private members' club that will presumably be pitched at Groucho types. It looks like the restaurant will be part of the club but be open to others through advance reservation (?)

The place itself is clearly going to make its presence felt; it's hard not to notice it when you walk down Endell Street.

The website is at http://www.thehospital.co.uk/, where you can download all the minutes of their monthly meetings with local residents to discuss double glazing timetables, why the builders didn't recognise two minutes' silence for the Queen Mum, and other racy topics.

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Bad news I'm afraid

Bad news for who Andy? Certainly not for me. I am relishing a bout of schaudenfraude at the collapse of this ghastly sounding venture. HOPIT+L indeed. What sort of a stupid name was that? And as for CT being here "five or six days a month"-what sort of involvement is that. The whole thing stank of rip off, as does Gagnaire's Sketch. How gullible can we Londoners be? It seems that there are people prepared to pay fortunes to eat in restaurants where the unique selling point is a chef who is never there! Great!

Hopit+l wouldn't have seen a penny of mine and neither will Sketch unless Gagnaire is in that kitchen more often than he is not OR I am proved wriong and the general consensus is that the place is as good as his Paris gaffe.

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The exact lettering I saw when this was first launched was hospi+al, I assume the idea being a red cross takes the place of the "t". Dead clever eh?

I'm disapointed that it won't now happen, although I am not 100% happy with the idea of expensive restaurants cloning themselves around the globe as I've said elsewhere on this site. But it was going to be CT's right hand man heading up the kitchen which counts for something.

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Hands up who's got reservations for Sketch.

Hands up who'd be surprised if the gagnaire restaurant doesn't open.

i think its a very brave/foolish move to open a very high end restaurant at this moment in time, given huge city redundancies, advertising recession and house prices starting to crack.

MPW looks the most sensible, moving away from the high end of the market to the mid-lower segment.


you don't win friends with salad

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But it was going to be CT's right hand man heading up the kitchen which counts for something.

But it doesn't count for the same. All the above quotes on this thread make it clear that this is Charlie Trotter's restaurant, Charlie Trotter's venture, not that of his right hand man.

I know we've touched on this issue before but I think we need to be constantly vigilant against being misled- some might say conned.

I've never argued that a named chef has to be in the kitchen all of the time. However it is one thing having a break or making the odd TV programme and another altogether to be spending the bulk of your time in another country, cooking in another restaurant while at the same time using your reputation as the main selling point of the restaurant in London.

I don't see how a chef who spends 5 days a month in a restaurant can meaningfully claim to the public that it is "his" restaurant except in the sense that he might part own it. You could argue that Trotter and Gagnaire have never claimed to be the main chefs in these ventures but at the same time Gagnaire must realise that the success of his venture depends on the association with him.

Clearly this is a case of CAVEAT EMPTOR- all of you BEWARE!

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but at the same time Gagnaire must realise that the success of his venture depends on the association with him.

I think they've spread the risk by having a brasserie and a bar which won't depend too much on Gagnaire's name and reputation. But who in their right minds will pay the reported £100 a head food cost only to eat in the "fine dining" room, even if they do know who Gagnaire is?

I would love to give the place a go, but I really cannot justify that sort of money. Perhaps I'll pop in for an overpriced bottle of Becks and a nose around the place one day.

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But it was going to be CT's right hand man heading up the kitchen which counts for something.

But it doesn't count for the same. All the above quotes on this thread make it clear that this is Charlie Trotter's restaurant, Charlie Trotter's venture, not that of his right hand man.

I know we've touched on this issue before but I think we need to be constantly vigilant against being misled- some might say conned.

I've never argued that a named chef has to be in the kitchen all of the time. However it is one thing having a break or making the odd TV programme and another altogether to be spending the bulk of your time in another country, cooking in another restaurant while at the same time using your reputation as the main selling point of the restaurant in London.

I don't see how a chef who spends 5 days a month in a restaurant can meaningfully claim to the public that it is "his" restaurant except in the sense that he might part own it. You could argue that Trotter and Gagnaire have never claimed to be the main chefs in these ventures but at the same time Gagnaire must realise that the success of his venture depends on the association with him.

Clearly this is a case of CAVEAT EMPTOR- all of you BEWARE!

In this sense, London has become like Las Vegas, with satellites of NY and other restaurants opening here with nothing to link them to the mothership other than a name and a price tag

I rather like CT's in Chicago ( not as much as Tru, but that is for another thread ) but it is a bit meaningless when it opens here and he is scarcely going t be there. I have the same feelings about GR@C's.

I guess it is a kind of fine dining by association

S

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Are we talking about Charlie Trotter the man or Charlie Trotter the brand? I know nothing about him or his restaurants but it seems from what you're all saying that he has extended his brand such that the words "Charlie Trotter" have acquired a secondary meaning in commerce which goes beyond describing services provided by the individual. This kind of celebrity branding is very common now -- do you really think that Michael Jordan makes your trainers or Paul Newman your salad dressing? (Apologies for suggesting anyone on egullet might buy this). Ultimately though Trotter the individual will be stuffed if he can't exercise sufficient quality control over the provision of services under his Trotter brand -- it will have a knock-on effect on his personal reputation.

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