The passing of Charlie Trotter hits home to me, not that I knew him or that he even new I exist. But in a professional, creative manor he was one of three look up to’s.
When I was a poor college kid going to culinary school, I would save up to buy the new Trotter cookbooks. Entertain using his ideals, techniques and most importantly flavors. During the second year of schooling I convinced a couple of other poor classmates to save up and shoot the moon with me at Trotter’s. I still have the signed menu hanging in my house. It is, to this day, the most awe inspiring dining experience I have ever had. What really made it was what happened after a conversation I had with our head waiter, “that this table is filled with culinary students, whom are wanting to be like Charlie.” Chef Trotter heard about our conversation and took our experience for a ride of magical and mystical proportions. He added four or more plates to the menu each more delightful the the last. After the meal Chef Trotter sent someone to personally give us a tour of the restaurant, gardens, wine cellar and kitchen. Once we were in the kitchen clad in stainless and copper with an aroma of heavenly proportions surrounding us, while still be in the middle of the rush, he paused to shake our hands, introduce and sign our menus. The energy, calm, control, poise, and dash of arrogance melded together so perfectly to give three budding Trotter-esk Culinarians a moment and meal that will last a lifetime. I hope I can give someone a moment in time they too can cherish forever.
Charlie Trotter September 8, 1959~November 5, 2013