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B.I.C. Ca 100 – Research Project – Charlie Trotter

100 Jonathon Roehl September 30, 2010 Charlie Trotter Charlie Trotter specializes in Degustation, which is a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods and focusing on the senses. His inspiration came while he was in college and his roommate, Joel Fish, prepared various courses for his friends to taste. Trotter became interested in what Joel was doing, and soon found himself immersed in the world of cookbooks and preparing meals as a way of entertainment for his friends and roommate.

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Mid way through his college tenure at The University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, he decided to take a year off and read every book he could, this included cookbooks. As a way to make a living while on this break from school, he took a job as a waiter. Not long after he returned to college, he earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science, then began once again cooking and actually doing small catering parties. Upon graduating from college, Charlie traveled around the U. S. and Europe to dine at only the finest restaurants.

He wanted to learn how the “best” gained that title, and see what the future could possibly hold for him. Charlie actually never went to culinary school, he completely taught himself. Soon he returned to the States and began doing catering parties for his friends and families. His first cooking job was at a restaurant in the North Shore area of Chicago called Sinclair’s where he was a cook there and worked under many now well-known chefs including Norman Van Aken. After doing this for just over a year, he decided to open Charlie Trotter’s with his now deceased father, Robert Trotter, as his partner.

Charlie’s cuisine now comes from the finest foodstuffs available. Networks provide the fresh, healthful ingredients which inspire him to create his masterpieces. From the naturally raised meat and line caught seafood to the organic produce, every component of each dish is the most pure available. Bobwhite quail from Indiana, petite greens from Farmer Jones, heirloom tomatoes from Illinois, buffalo from North Dakota and gindai from Hawaii are just a few of the products that arrive each day for him to crafts his menus. Trotter rather ave sauce with vegetable juice-based vinaigrettes, light emulsified stocks, and purees as well as delicate broths, and herb-infused meat and fish essences then sauces that have a lot of butter or cream. According to the Mobil Travel Guide, Charlie’s restaurant was giving 5 stars back in 1996 and remains that way even now. For his wine Charlie was awarded The Best Restaurant in the World for Wine and Food in 1998, The Best Restaurant in the United States back in 2000, America’s Best Wine-Driven Restaurant in 2006 as well as The Grand Award in 1993, which he still holds.

From the International food Manufacturers Association he was earned both the Silver and Gold Plate award in 2008. Trotter has been awarded many more other then these. I feel that Trotter is an excellent example of chefs with imagination and how you really do need to use your head and alter and expand anything from simple recipes to your whole cuisine choice considering this man NEVER went to a culinary arts school.