James Beard Foundation Tribute to Charlie Trotter

Photo Credit to Ken Goodman

In the food industry there are a number of Chefs/ Restaurateurs who elevate above the rest through the use of skill, hard work, creativity and love of their craft.   Chef Charlie Trotter, winner of nine James Beard Foundation Awards,  was one of these greats.

Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly last November but his legacy will never expire.   And if you were one of the lucky ones to have eaten at his restaurant in Chicago you will agree that he is easily ranked among the best.

In recognition of his contribution to the world of cuisine, the James Beard Foundation, headed up by Susan Ungaro, will this  November make their annual fund-raising Gala at the Four Seasons Restaurant (99 East 52d)  in NYC, a special tribute to Charlie and his work:  “Celebrating Charlie Trotter & The New American Cuisine” and announcing the Charlie Trotter Memorial Scholarship (up to $10,000) for aspiring culinary students.

And last week Susan & Co. held the kick-off event at  Langham Place Hotel  to announce the November 14th event.     She brought in Chef Tim Graham from Travelle Restaurant at the Langham Hotel in Chicago and paired him with Executive Chef David Vandenabeele at the hotel here in NY.  Together they created several light dishes to exemplify a sampling of the quality of Charlie’s creations:  White Gazpacho soup in mini champagne flutes, colorful “green apple/chicken liver” mousse presented to look like candy apples and an incomparable Radish Ravioli filled with cashew cheese over yellow tomatoes. Terrific.

As both Chefs noted:   It was Charlie’s attention to detail, willingness to experiment with new ideas and courage to believe in his abilities which inspired them to pursue their careers as chefs.

To your health,

Jim