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Charlie Trotter Dead: World-Renowned Chef Passes Away At 54

Wed, November 6, 2013 7:50am EDT by 2 Comments
Charlie Trotter Dead
Rob Loud/Entertainment/Getty Images

How tragic. Charlie, of the most renowned chefs in the world, died on Nov. 5 after being found unconscious in his Chicago home at the age of 54.

It’s been said that Charlie Trotter, famous chef, restauranteur and philanthropist, revolutionized American fine dining. Sadly, he passed away in his beloved home state of Illinois at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, after his son, Dylan Trotter, found him to be in an unresponsive state.

Charlie Trotter: Chef Dead At 54-Years-Old

Dylan found Charlie at his Lincoln Park, Ill. home on Nov. 5, not breathing and unconscious.

He was immediately transported to the hospital where he was taken in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m., according to the Chicago Tribune. The cause of his young death is not yet known.

Charlie’s wife, Rochelle Trotter, released a statement on Nov. 5:

“We are incredibly shocked and deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of Charlie at our home in Lincoln Park. He was much loved, and words can not describe how much he will be missed. Charlie was a trailblazer and introduced people to a new way of dining when he opened Charlie Trotter’s. His impact upon American cuisine and the culinary world at large will always be remembered. We thank you so much for your kind words, love and support. We appreciate the respect for our privacy as we work through this difficult time. Details for the memorial service will be forthcoming.”

Charlie Trotter: Chef Revolutionized American Dining

Trotter has been said to have redefined American cooking, especially since he did not go to culinary school and was a self-taught chef.

He came to be known after he opened his world-famous restaurant, Charlie Trotter’s, in 1987. It was named the “30th-Best Restaurant In The World” by Restaurant magazine.

Charlie also won the Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation award in 1999.  In 2000, Wine Spectator magazine named Charlie Trotter’s the “Best Restaurant in the Nation.”

He’s written 14 cookbooks and had his own PBS show, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter. He is also known for being a pioneer in restaurant techniques and methods, being one of the first to adapt a raw-food menu and using farm-to-table ingredients, which is still extremely popular today.

Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family at this devastating time.

— Ivy Jacobson

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