Trotter's "intense creativity and never-repeat-a-dish dictum made Trotter’s the most talked-about restaurant in Chicago, and his fame quickly spread throughout the country and beyond," writes the Chicago Tribune. A self-taught chef, Trotter closed the 120-seat restaurant in 2012, as The Rundown notes. Master Sommelier Larry Stone, who worked as Trotter's sommerlier in the late '80s, 90s, and last year, told the Chicago Tribune that Trotter and his family knew that he had a brain aneurism and that he was resigned to it.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
'It was a time bomb and he felt that he didn't have a lot of time left. It was inoperable and it was not something that could be repaired, it was deep inside the brain,' Stone said.
The Associated Press reports in the Huff Post Chicago that the menu from the last week of Trotter's restaurant before it closed last year included such dishes as poached white asparagus with charred broccolini, manchego cheese and red pepper essence; and root beer leaf ice cream with vanilla cremeaux and birch syrup-infused meringue.
Trotter only did one book on raw vegan cuisine, which he co-authored with raw Chef Roxanne Klein. He was known far more for his cooked, carnivorous dishes.
On Wednesday, Chef Klein sent us the following quote via e-mail:
Today's news is deeply saddening. Charlie was one of the most compelling and extraordinary chefs I have ever met. He had a passionate pursuit of excellence in everything he did, and achieved it. I truly feel honored to have been able to collaborate with one of the world's greatest chefs on our book "Raw." He was an incredible inspiration and always on the cutting edge, and trusted wherever that would lead him. I feel blessed to have experienced some of the best culinary journeys in my life with him; no one did it better than Charlie Trotter. He will be missed beyond words.