WBEZ | Charlie Trotter's http://www.wbez.org/tags/charlie-trotters Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Eat this, drink that: Trenchermen, Santa Paws, Charlie Trotter's auction http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/eat-drink-trenchermen-santa-paws-charlie-trotters-auction-104246 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/7562230826/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trnchermengcmnoodles.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Pig skin noodles with market vegetables by Trenchermen chefs Michael Sheerin and Patrick Sheerin (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><u><strong>Friday, December 07</strong></u></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer">WBEZ blogger alum Mark Bazer</a>&nbsp;interviews enigmatic&nbsp;<a href="http://trenchermen.com/">Trenchermen</a> chefs/owners/brothers Michael and Patrick Sheerin on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theinterviewshowchicago.com/december/"><em>The Interview Show</em> (A Talk Show in a Bar)</a>&nbsp;at <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/184263/">The Hideout</a>. Admission $8.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Saturday, December 08</strong></u></p><p>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/HotelAllegro/posts/499380250095080">fourth annual Santa Paws</a> at the <a href="http://www.allegrochicago.com/">Hotel Allegro</a>&nbsp;takes aww-over the Lobby Lounge Saturday and Sunday afternoon,&nbsp;benefitting the <a href="http://www.anticruelty.org/events/#main-body">The Anti-Cruelty Society</a>.&nbsp;All pets welcomed, as long as they can fit through the door. Event features water bowls and pet-friendly treats, plus people-friendly&nbsp;hot chocolate and cookies. A professional photographer will shoot you and your animal companion with Santa. This year, there&#39;s also a raffle, with prizes including <a href="http://www.kimptonhotels.com/hotels/hotels-chicago.aspx">Kimpton hotels &amp; restaurants</a> gift certificates, with all raffle proceeds benefitting The Anti-Cruelty Society. Meet several shelter dogs joining the festivities, who&nbsp;will be available for adoption. Admission FREE.</p><p><u><strong>Sunday, December 09</strong></u></p><p>The 12th annual <a href="http://www.oneofakindshowchicago.com/">One of a Kind Show</a> at <a href="http://www.merchandisemart.com/">The Merchandise Mart</a>, kicked off Thursday with more than 600 artists and their handmade creations,&nbsp;with a portion of all ticket sales benefitting the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/Pages/default.aspx">Children&#39;s Hospital of Chicago</a>. Sunday is your last day to meet and eat from artists/artisans in the Gourmet Gallery, including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brunkowcheese.com/">Brunkow Cheese</a>, Mart resident <a href="http://www.thechoppingblock.net/">Chopping Block</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/puffsofdoom">Puffs of Doom</a>, and more. Admission $12 general, $9 seniors, FREE for children 12 and under.</p><p><u><strong>Monday, December 10</strong></u></p><p><em><a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_museum/_exhibits/_UnfinishedBusiness/_21stcenthomec/21stcenturyhomeecon.html">Unfinished Business: 21st Century Home Economics</a></em> opens at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum with free refreshments. The new exhibit tells an untold story of the first generation of home economists who were equal rights advocates, chemists, public health advocates, labor reformers, and innovators who sought to redefine domesticity. Filled with participatory experiences and hands-on activities, the exhibition includes never before seen images and artifacts, such as historic menus detailing innovative food programs launched by Hull-House that politicized the kitchen and transformed the culture of food preparation and dining. Plus, hear an audio portrait of &quot;lunch lady&quot; Julia O&#39;Grady (of the <a href="http://agcchicago.org/">Academy for Global Citizenship</a>)&nbsp;created by photographer <a href="http://www.jasonreblando.com/">Jason Reblando</a> and producer <a href="http://transom.org/?page_id=14386">Heather Radke</a>. Admission FREE.</p><p><u><strong>Tuesday, December 11</strong></u></p><p><a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/184245/">The Hideout Holiday Sale</a> at The Hideout has been dubbed Chicago&#39;s coziest craft fare by our friend Martha Bayne of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-04/season-soup-bread-and-pie-98220">Soup &amp; Bread</a>, who&#39;s an expert in such things, and will be there with books and gift items, plus&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/pumpkin-patch-latte-tasting-jo-snows-pumpkin-coconut-syrup-102962">Jo Snow</a>, and many more invited local artisans. Admission FREE.</p><p><u><strong>Wednesday, December 12</strong></u></p><p>Now&#39;s your chance to bid on infamous wineglasses with bowls as big as your head at the&nbsp;<a href="http://auctionconsultants.net/charlie-trotters/">auction of Charlie Trotter&#39;s</a> at the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-08/and-now-end-here-charlie-trotter-way-102093">restaurant formerly known</a> as <a href="http://www.charlietrotters.com/">Charlie Trotter&#39;s</a>. Admission FREE.</p></p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 08:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/eat-drink-trenchermen-santa-paws-charlie-trotters-auction-104246 And now, the end is here: Charlie Trotter Way http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-08/and-now-end-here-charlie-trotter-way-102093 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trotterstreetsign.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>Thursday, Charlie Trotter (the chef) stood under the newly <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZ/status/241217667594334208">unveiled</a> street sign bearing his name, a few steps west of Charlie Trotter&#39;s (the restaurant), closing tonight after 25 years of international acclaim, to answer a few questions from journalists, including yours truly.</p><p>Too bad my little interview seemed to go south almost as soon as it had started.</p><p>&quot;Any other trick questions?&quot; asked Trotter. I&#39;d been asking him about his current school plans, since he first <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/9725535-417/charlie-trotter-to-close-his-world-famous-chicago-restaurant.html">told</a>&nbsp;the <em>Sun-Times&#39; </em>Janet Fuller&nbsp;that he was planning to study philosophy and political theory for a master&#39;s degree. But he&#39;d also said that Trotter&#39;s To Go, his take-out shop, would remain open; it&#39;s since <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/13572319-420/trotter-to-go-closes-as-famous-chef-heads-for-hiatus.html">closed</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>So a lot can happen in nine months.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F58234696&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trottersignunveil.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter begins to unveil Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Trotter did say he&#39;d be studying &quot;φιλοσοφία (philosophia)&quot; &mdash; and yes, in Greek. As for where, &quot;It&#39;s down to Northwestern or the University of Chicago,&quot; he said. And what specifically? &quot;The Greeks versus the Germans,&quot; said Trotter &mdash; and then he countered with the &quot;trick question&quot; thing.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trottersignunveiling.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter unveiling Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign continues (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I have to admit that he rattled me, but that should hardly have been a surprise, given his mythically <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-01-03/video-charlie-trotter-talks-borrowing-chickens-cafe-ba-ba-reeba-being-vot">mean</a> reputation: Mark Caro&#39;s <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-28/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-1-20120827_1_charlie-trotter-graham-elliot-gt-fish-oyster">three</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-2-20120828,0,6520049,full.column">part</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-charlie-trotter-chicago-chef-part-3-20120829,0,7765235,full.column">series</a> in the <em>Tribune&nbsp;</em>includes accounts of Trotter making chefs, including a young <a href="https://twitter.com/grahamelliot">Graham Elliot Bowles</a>, cry.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trottersignunveiled.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Dona-Lee Trotter unveils Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign to applause (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A couple of years ago I got a rare peek at the other Charlie Trotter. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-06-03/conversation-chef-ken-hom-interviewed-louisa-chu">Ken Hom</a>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;the Chicago-raised, Chinese-American chef sought out by a young Chuck Trotter in California for Chinese cooking lessons &mdash;&nbsp;had invited me to dinner at the restaurant. Trotter and his wife, Rochelle, had been hosting a charity dinner in their home, but made it back near the end of the night to sit down together for a few more glasses of legendary wine &mdash; and the stories they unlocked. I don&#39;t remember much about the dishes, and as Caro&#39;s series revealed, there really are no signature Trotter dishes, with courses changing constantly. At the street sign unveiling, Rochelle Trotter said the guest who&#39;d dined with them the most had had over 400 meals with them, and not a single course repeated ever.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Trotter said after he takes the autumn to close up shop, he plans to take a three-year hiatus to&nbsp;travel (to Buenos Aires, Portugal and Scotland), and earn his master&#39;s. He&#39;d said he plans to open another restaurant, but who really knows? Whatever he does, now is not the end; whatever comes next will be his way.</div></div></div><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trottercharlierochelle.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px; " title="Charlie and Rochelle Trotter hold newly unveiled Honorary Charlie Trotter Way street sign (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p></p> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-08/and-now-end-here-charlie-trotter-way-102093 Keep Calm and Eat On http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-01-05/keep-calm-and-eat-95304 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-05/keepcalmeaton.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-05/keepcalmeaton.jpg" style="width: 450px; height: 525px;" title=""></p><p>First Charlie Trotter, arguably the most important trailblazer in contemporary American fine dining, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/charlie-trotter-close-award-winning-chicago-restaurant-95223">announces he's closing his restaurant</a>. Then one of Chicago's pioneer gourmet food truck chefs—Matt Maroni, chef/owner of Gaztro-Wagon—<a href="http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/01/04/matt-maroni-shutters-gaztrowagon-shop-leaves-morso.php">says he's shutting down the storefront, handing over the keys to his truck, and stepping back from the metal-umlauted restaurant MörSo he opened</a>. Also, Michael Jordan's restaurant one sixtyblue, one of the first to stake a claim on Randolph Street, <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-bars/15069373/one-sixtyblue-to-reconcept-after-jan-7">will close</a> to <a href="http://www.cornerstonerestaurants.com/onesixtyblue/index.html#whatshappening">"undergo a major concept change"</a>.</p><p>And Paul McGee, bearded and bespectacled barman extraordinaire, is <a href="http://paulmcgee.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-year-new-you.html">leaving The Whistler</a>.</p><p>Add in the closure of <a href="http://www.crustorganic.com/">Crust</a>, Chicago's first certified organic restaurant; and the <a href="http://thepickledtongue.com/?p=7730">heartbreaking, raw story of the rise and fall of Meatyballs</a>, perhaps the best known and beloved food truck in the city—created by one of the most thrilling chefs anywhere in the world today, Phillip Foss—and the season's restaurant news so far could seem <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/TOCEatOut/status/154700564226256896">depressing, even to seasoned food writers</a>.</p><p>But fear not.</p><p>Charlie Trotter's, the restaurant, won't close until August—and is even <a href="http://www.charlietrotters.com/countdown.asp">running a countdown clock on its homepage</a>—and will also host a series of special event dinners. Charlie Trotter, the man, will then live out another dream life for many of us: to go back to school to get a master's degree and travel the world. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-12-07/fare-thee-well-food-editors-94683">Janet Fuller, the former Sun-Times Food Editor</a> to whom he personally broke the story, said "<a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/jrfull/status/153544899948589056">he's already thinking through his thesis—Dostoevsky vs. Nietzsche and the God question</a>" and "<a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/jrfull/status/153545798896984064">as for travel, Trotter says North Africa is top on list. 'And I've so underexplored Asia that I can't even begin to talk about it</a>.'"</p><p>When I interviewed Trotter last January, he said then he'd never been to Japan, which I found especially shocking since I thought he must have been inspired by experiencing some exquisite kaiseki cuisine.</p><p>Maroni told me the Gaztro-Wagon truck will roll again—but not until Spring, with the MörSo team behind the wheel. (More on my interview with Maroni in an upcoming food truck series coming soon.)</p><p>one sixtyblue will also re-open in the "late Spring"—and the <a href="http://www.mjshchicago.com/">Michael Jordan's Steak House</a> on Michigan Avenue in the InterContinental seems to be going strong.</p><p>I stopped by the MJSH grand opening party a few months ago and have to admit: I called my parents from the event—much to their excitement too. It's Jordan, it's steak: it's Chicago. We're proud of our <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/dining/charlie-trotter-is-closing-chicago-restaurant-in-august.html">stockyard</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/petersagal/status/153704797562875906">palate</a>.</p><p>McGee will be joining the Melman <em>fils</em>—R.J. and Jerrod—in their new River North concept, <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/restaurants-bars/15072255/paul-mcgee-leaving-the-whistler-for-river-north-melman-project">according to Time Out Chicago's Julia Kramer and David Tamarkin</a>.</p><p>Crust owner Michael Altenberg still owns <a href="http://www.bistrocampagne.com/">Bistro Campagne</a>, in Lincoln Square, open since 2002—that's 10 years.</p><p>And then there's <a href="http://elideas.com/">EL</a>, Foss' "micro restaurant" serving breathtakingly beautiful dishes in an engaging setting. If he'd opened in an equally bleak arrondissement in Paris, instead of the Near Southwest Side of Chicago, he'd be the toast of the international food press. The relatively underground network of Serious International Fine Diners, though, are finding their way into his tiny dining room and spreading the word. (More on Foss in the food truck series too.)</p><p>And speaking of food trucks, <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/PHBakery/status/154951506372722688">Pleasant House Bakery's truck just rolled out for the first time <em>today</em></a>, serving up their savory British-ish by way of Bridgeport handmade Royal Pies.</p><p>Forget about keeping calm—run and get them!</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-05/phb.11.0902.mushkale2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" title="Pleasant House Bakery Mushroom and Kale Royal Pie (photo by Ron Kaplan/LTH Forum.com)"></p></p> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 10:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-01-05/keep-calm-and-eat-95304