Charlie Trotter’s legacy lives on

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Some of Chicago’s most esteemed chefs were on hand last week for a special screening of the new DreamWorks film, “The Hundred Foot Journey,” Lasse Hallstrom’s new film starring Oscar winner Helen Mirren (opening Aug. 8).

There to salute The Trotter Project — in collaboration with Common Threads and Pilot Light — were Charile Trotter alumni chefs Homaro Cantu, Bill Kim, Matthias Merges, Guillermo Tellez, Giuseppe Tentori and sommelier Robert Houde. Also on hand were longtime Trotter friends, chefs Carrie Nahabedian and Art Smith.

Smith, the former personal chef for Oprah Winfrey — who executive-produced the film, along with Steven Spielberg — received an email from the TV queen before the screening, hoping everyone would enjoy the film.

The Trotter Project is a group comprised of alumni of the late chef and tastemaker Charlie Trotter’s famed restaurant on Armitage — which during it’s quarter-century of existence became a magnet for foodies from around the globe. The mission of The Trotter Project is to continue to teach the culinary lessons inspired by Trotter — to instill them in students hoping to enter the culinary profession.

†At the American Culinary Federation’s national convention taking place through Tuesday in Kansas City, Trotter has been honored, with the late chef’s brother, Scott Trotter, announcing the Trotter Family Foundation would be donating $100,000 to the Trotter Project.

It was also announced that the State of Illinois and City of Chicago will proclaim Aug. 17 as “Charlie Trotter Day,” to mark the anniversary of the opening of Charlie Trotter’s restaurant.


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