Famed Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, 54, whose restaurant was considered one of the very finest throughout the world, has died, according to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
Trotter was found unconscious and not breathing in his home which is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the near north side of Chicago. He was taken to nearby Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Dylan, Trotter, the chef’s son, found him at Trotter’s home in the 1800 block of North Dayton Street, and an ambulance was called at 10:45 a.m.
A witness says that Trotter’s wife, Rochelle, was outside the home yelling hysterically when the ambulance took her husband away.
Trotter, a chef who taught himself the art of culinary arts, opened Charlie Trotter’s restaurant on Armitage Avenue near Halsted Street on Chicago’s near northwest side in 1987. The restaurant quickly became a favorite as he gained fame that crossed the United States and beyond. He was honored as the country’s Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 1999, and a year later he was honored as having the best restaurant in the nation by Wine Spectator magazine. In 2002, he received the Beard Award for Outstanding Service.
Trotter created the Charlie Trotter Education Foundation to provide scholarships for culinary students, a program which likely led to Trotter’s having received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award last year.