Sunday, September 14 2:15PM—3:00PMThe Evolution of Creativity Main Stage Presentation
BiographyChef Charlie Trotter is the founder of his eponymous Chicago restaurant, which for over two decades has been considered one of the finest dining establishments in not only the country, but also the world. His personal, modern interpretation of cuisine – one which increasingly blends elements of Asian cuisine – set the bar for creative fine dining in America, paving the way for many of today’s best restaurants and chefs.
In 1995, Charlie Trotter's was inducted into the esteemed Relais & Châteaux and in 1998 was accepted as a member by Traditions & Qualite. Trotter's has also received 5 stars from the Mobil Travel Guide, 5 diamonds by AAA, and 8 James Beard Foundation Awards, including “Outstanding Restaurant” (2000) and ”Outstanding Chef” (1999). Wine Spectator named the restaurant “The Best Restaurant in the World for Wine & Food” (1998) and “America's Best Restaurant” (2000).
In 2000, Trotter opened Trotter's To Go, a take-out gourmet retail shop in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Trotter has begun to expand his culinary offerings with the addition of a new restaurant: C a fine-dining restaurant specializing in seafood at the One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, which opened in February 2004. Future plans include two new restaurants in The Elysian hotel, currently being built in Chicago, and continued work with United Airlines to provide specially-designed cuisine for first- and business-class on international flights.
Trotter is the author of 11 cookbooks, the subject of two management books, and is the host of the nationally broadcast, award-winning PBS cooking series, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter. He also produces a line of gourmet products under the Charlie Trotter brand name.
Beyond his culinary endeavors, Trotter is has embarked on a number of philanthropic activities, including supporting national and international charities. Closest to his heart is the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation. Since its inception in 1999, Trotter has hosted weekly dinners for high-school students, as well as underwritten annual fund raising dinners for the foundation. To date, the foundation has raised more than $475,000 to award to individuals seeking careers in the culinary arts.
Chef Trotter recently received an award at the White House from both President Bush and Colin Powell for his work with the foundation and was named one of only five “heroes” to be honored by Colin Powell's charity, America's Promise. In 2004, Chef Trotter was awarded the “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his overall service to the community.