Famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter Dead At 54

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Charlie Trotter, one of the city’s most famous chefs, is dead at the age of 54.

According to The Tribune, Trotter was found unconscious at his home by his son Dylan this morning. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Trotter closed his iconic Charlie Trotter restaurant on Armitage Avenue in Chicago in 2012, after a successful 25-year run.

The restaurant was regarded as one of the best in the world, winning the Forbes Five Star Award, 11 James Beard Foundation awards (including for Outstanding Restaurant in 2000 and Outstanding Chef in 1999), and one of the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” by Restaurant Magazine in 2006, among many others, according to Trotter’s website.

Trotter himself was a self-taught chef who didn’t become interested in food until his college years at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After graduating, he traveled around the world eating at the best restaurants, and decided to come home to start his own restaurant with his father Bob.

When Charlie Trotter shut its doors last year, Trotter said at the time he wanted to go back to school and do something different. “After 25 years, Mayor Daley said I’m taking a hiatus here, and after 25 years in Chicago Oprah said, ‘I’m ready for something different,’ so I guess I’m following their lead a little bit,” Trotter told ABC in January 2012.

The award-winning chef was also the author of 14 cookbooks, host of the PBS cooking series “The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter,” and won the Humanitarian of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation in 2012.

He was living with his wife and son in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighbourhood at the time of his death.

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