Chef Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter started cooking professionally in 1982 after graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin. At that time, he embarked on an intense four-year period of work, study and travel, including stints with Norman Van Aken, Bradley Ogden and Gordon Sinclair. He lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Florida and Europe "reading every cookbook I could get my hands on, working like a maniac, and eating out incessantly." Chef Trotter's cuisine originates from the finest foodstuffs available. A network of over 90 purveyors provides the fresh, healthful ingredients that inspire him to create flavorful masterpieces. From the naturally raised meat and to the line--caught seafood to the organic produce, every componennt of each dish is the purest available. Indiana bobwhite quail, petite greens from Farmer Jones, heirloom tomatoes from Illinois, North Dakota buffalo and Hawaiian gindai are just a few of the products that arrive each day from which Chef Trotter crafts the daily menus. Harvey Steiman from the Wine Spectator observes that "Trotter regards recipes the way jazz musicians see their musical scores--as frameworks for improvisation. The results follow a discipline, but they spring from the moment, not a carefully plotted script." His adept understanding of cultural influences and flavors from around the world are intuitively and spontaneously translated into his own highly original cuisine--a cuisine which is simply unparalleled.
Charlie Trotter's has established itself as one of the finest restaurants in the world. The restaurant is recognized by a variety of prestigious national and international institutions including Relais & Chateaux: Relais Gourmand, Mobil Travel Guide: Five Stars, AAA: Five Diamonds, Traditions & Qualité, The James Beard Foundation: Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America and the Award for Outstanding Wine Service. The restaurant has received the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator, which recently named Charlie Trotter's as The Best Restaurant in the United States (2000).
Charlie Trotter is also the author of several cookbooks; The restaurant series provides a glimse into his award--winning restaurant and documents it's culinary history. Included in this collection are Charlie Trotter's, Charlie Trotter's Vegetables, Charlie Trotter's Seafood and Charlie Trotter's Desserts. The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter is the companion book to Chef Trotter's cooking show of the same name. Though a bit surprising, Gourmet Cooking for Dummies, is an excellent and informative introduction to gourmet food preparation. All of Charlie Trotter's cookbooks contain stunning color photography.Charlie spends his "spare" time performing cooking demonstrations, giving speeches and consulting. He dedicates as much time as possible to charitable organizations. His efforts include providing over 300 donations to charity auctions each year; organizing the American Cancer Society's Vinnaffair, which raised over 1 million dollars in two years; donating proceeds from the restaurant's 10th Anniversary to The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls; spear--heading a cookbook dedicated to Chef Patrick Clark; and creating the Charlie Trotter's Culinary Education Foundation. Chef Trotter is also a Board of Trustee member of the James Beard Foundation and serves on the Kennedy-King College Culinary Advisory Board.