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The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter


The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter – In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was on top of the culinary world, but his competitive and volatile nature alienated many.

He suffered a fatal stroke at the age of 54, but his legacy is one of complexity and creativity.


The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was the toast of Chicago, his eponymous restaurant one of the world’s top fine-dining destinations.

A gastronomic revolutionary and a culinary bad-boy, Trotter paved the way for the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, yet his tempestuous, competitive nature alienated many.

With never-before-seen archival material and new interviews with those who loved and loathed Trotter.

Trotter died from a stroke in 2013 at age 54–this absorbing, unvarnished profile chronicles the passions of a master chef and the consequences of pursuing perfection at all costs.

The film is comprised of sit-down interviews with Trotter’s family, friends, and celebrated chefs, including Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse, along with personal archival material (including 8mm home movies and hundreds of pieces of personal correspondence).

The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

Rebecca Halpern’s latest documentary “Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie” examines iconic Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, who developed micro-greens and helped make vegetarianism mainstream.

The chef, who died in 2013, was also known for his cookbooks, which featured groundbreaking food photography, which earned him the title “godfather of food porn.”

Trotter’s first namesake restaurant, located in a Lincoln Park townhouse on Chicago’s North Side, opened its doors in 1987 and remained a famed establishment for 25 years.

While considered a trailblazing chef whose restaurants helped transform American fine dining, Trotter was also known for his temper and controlling behavior. 

“He was the puppeteer,” Grant Achatz, a chef who worked for Trotter and went on to open his own restaurants says in the film. “He figured out a way to get what he wanted from all of us.” 

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