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Charlie Trotter

How One Superstar Chef and His Iconic Chicago Restaurant Helped Revolutionize American Cuisine

Charlie Trotter
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Bursting onto the Chicago culinary scene in 1987, Charlie Trotter's restaurant--named for the executive chef and owner behind the fine dining establishment--soon became a local icon and eventually a national landmark. From his rise to stardom to the 2012 announcement that his eponymous restaurant would be closing its doors, Charlie Trotter has consistently been one of Chicago's most distinguished and high-profile chefs. Trotter, more than any of his peers, ushered in a new type of dining experience--the "New American" gourmet cuisine that has proliferated across the country--by never offering the same menu twice, and creating multi-course meals from scratch each day using boutique ingredients, including a rare all-vegetable degustation.

Drawn from 25 years of Chicago Tribune articles, profiles, and reviews, Charlie Trotter offers the most comprehensive examination of the restaurant that put Chicago on the culinary map. Employing both the fine-tooth comb of local journalism and the acerbic wit of high-stakes restaurant criticism, Charlie Trotter gives readers an intimate portrayal of the always controversial, much beloved figure who for years was the standard-bearer when it came to Chicago fine dining.

From the moment Trotter began garnering national attention, though, controversy seemed to follow--challenges to his innovative "chef's table" dining style by city health inspectors;the ire of his fellow chefs after he deemed foie gras too inhumane to serve and the Chicago City Council followed suit; and slights by national review outlets such as Michelin. For 25 years, gourmet food and difficult feuds were nearly inseparable for Charlie Trotter's.

Charlie Trotter gives readers an in-depth look at the inner workings of both the man and his landmark restaurant.

Agate Publishing; May 2012
72 pages; ISBN 9781572844063
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