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Charlie Trotter's
816 West Armitage
Chicago, Illinois 60614

The Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation
Awards scholarships to students who are seeking careers in the culinary arts and works with Chicago-area youth to promote the enthusiastic quest for education as well as an interest in cooking and food.

Invites high school students from around the Chicago-area are for twice-weekly dinners at the restaurant where they have the opportunity to tour, dine in the studio kitchen and speak directly with front and back of house staff about different types of food, organic farming and etiquette.

Since its creation in 1999, the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation has raised over 500,000 dollars to grant to individuals who are seeking schooling in the culinary arts.

Charlie Trotter addresses his staff before the event on StarChefs.com
Charlie Trotter introduces the guest chefs before service begins
Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne on StarChefs.com
Grant Achatz and Wylie Dufresne before service

Andoni Aduriz pitches in with Grant Achatz' plate-up
Grant Achatz preps his Tempura Prawn on StarChefs.com
Grant Achatz assembles his Tempura Prawn

Flouring the Prawns

Frying the Tempura Prawn on vanilla bean skewers

Michael McDonald finishes his Crab

Plating the Dungeness Crab Salad

Andoni Aduriz builds his Idiaziabal Cheese Gnocchi with Trotter's team

Matthias Merges checks the table plan during service
Fly on the Wall on StarChefs.com CULINARY EVENTS BEHIND THE SCENES
January 2007

Charlie Trotter’s 19th Anniversary Dinner

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Charlie Trotter celebrated 19 years of fine dining in Chicago with chefs Grant Achatz, Wylie Dufresne, Andoni Luis Aduriz, and more. Each guest chef presented a course, and in some cases, multiple courses, alongside two of Chef Trotter's. The final menu was a sequence of thirteen dishes with pairings, some plated a la minute on Trotter's famous white passe, and others set up banquet-style in the demo kitchen next door. Proceeds of the dinner benefitted The Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation.

Managing Editor Will Blunt was our fly on the wall, observing the nuts and bolts of the event and talking with Chef de Cuisine Matthias Merges about the months of planning that brought the night together so seamlessly.


Matthias Merges, Chef de Cuisine, Charlie Trotter

Matthias Merges, Chef de Cuisine, Charlie Trotter on StarChefs.comMatthias Merges, Chef de Cuisine at Charlie Trotter in Chicago, talks about how the restaurant’s 19th anniversary dinner came together, from finding the right chefs, pairing the wines, and orchestrating the courses.

Will Blunt: There was a real sense of culinary gravity in the kitchen that night; how did you choose the chefs for the event?

Matthias Merges: We’ve worked with every top chef on the planet in some way or another, either at a benefit dinner or special function, We’ve worked with Paul Bocuse, Ferran Adria, Wylie Dufresne, Thomas Keller, and we always look for different chefs who have the same philosophy, dedication to their craft, and a generosity. We want to work with people who understand the whole idea of cuisine, restaurants, and hospitality. For this event in particular, everyone who was here truly epitomized what they do in their own house—Hermé in Paris, Andoni in Spain, Wylie in New York. We wanted a great vibe so we looked for really special chefs. more »



Sunday, July 30th, 2006
Charlie Trotter’s 19th Anniversary Celebration
To Benefit the Charlie Trotter’s Culinary Education Foundation

Tempura Prawn—plum, preserved lemon, vanilla fragrances
Smoked Paprika—encapsulated peach, almond
Puffed Porcini—toasted garlic, parsley
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Grant Achatz

Alaskan Dungeness Crab with Amazake and Sake Sorbet
Ruinart Brut Rose NV
Michael McDonald

Octopus, Orange Soil, Asparagus, Chamomile Yogurt
Martinelli “Martinelli-Dry Select” Gewurztraminer, Russian River 2004
Wylie Dufresne

Representing Mini Mozarellas: Buttery Idiaziabal Cheese Gnocchi in Salted Iberian Pork Bouillon, Contrasting Vegetables
Sancerre Chateau de Sancerre 2005
Andoni Aduriz

Confit of Wild Salmon with Sweet ‘n Sour Duck Gizzards
and Curried Duck Liver Jus
Isole e Olena “Collezione de Marchi” Chardonnay 2004
Charlie Trotter

Smoked Eel, Peanuts, Snow Peas, Whipped Caramel
Chianti Classico Isole e Olena 2003
Wylie Dufresne

A Seasonal Interpretation: Rack of Lamb, Truffle and Walnut “Marzipan,”
Touches of Fern, Cocoa and Lime

Isole e Olena “Ceparello” 2001
Andoni Aduriz

Grass-Fed Virginia Veal: Tongue, Cheek and Sweetbread with Twenty Four Hour Sunchokes and Red Wine-Licorice Emulsion
Isole e Olena “Collezione de Marchi” Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Charlie Trotter

Sesame Shortcrust with Red Pepper and Raspberry Compote,
Parmesan Cream, and Tuile

Jurancon “Les Jardins de Babylone” D. Dagueneau and G. Pautrat 2004
Pierre Hermé

Ispahan—Gelee of Rose and Lychee Enrobed in Dark Chocolate
with Raspberry Ganache

Macaroon Ispahan with Lychee and Rose Ganache and Raspberry Compote
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Isole e Olena 1998
Pierre Hermé

Artisanal Breads
Michelle Gayer


Andoni Aduriz and Matthias Merges on the line

Building the plates on the passe

Grilling the Octopus for Wylie Dufresne’s Octopus, Orange Soil, Asparagus, and Chamomile Yogurt
Wylie and Andoni plate up the octopus on StarChefs.com
Wylie Dufresne and Tona Palomino plates the octopus

Octopus, Orange Soil, Asparagus, Chamomile Yogurt by Wylie Dufresne
Grant Achatz preps his Tempura Prawn on StarChefs.com
Michelle Gayer, Andoni Aduriz, Wylie Dufresne and Grant Achatz
Wild Salmon in the Thermo-circulator for Charlie Trotter’s dish on StarChefs.com
Wild salmon in the Thermo-circulator for Charlie Trotter’s dish

Pierre Hermé with the pastry team at Trotter's
Pierre Herme and his team before service
Pierre Hermé, Michelle Gayer, and Andre Louche before service
Pierre Herme finishes the Tango with olive oil on StarChefs.com
Pierre Hermé finishes the Tango with olive oil