Shocking news out of Chicago today: Charlie Trotter, an American, self-taught chef whose relentless pursuit of fine-dining perfection shaped the futures of fellow chefs all across the globe, passed away earlier this morning of undetermined causes. Trotter, who closed his eponymous Chicago restaurant in 2012 after 25 years at the top of that city's restaurant hierarchy, was 54 years old.
According to NBC Chicago, the media outlet that first reported the story, the chef, who was as feared for his stern temperament as he was hailed for his flawless technique, was "found unresponsive at a Chicago residence and was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."
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Trotter's restaurant was revered by his colleagues, perhaps more so than the guests he served, and several of the nation's most celebrated chefs, including Grant Achatz and Graham Elliot, worked for Trotter before they became culinary stars of their own. And today, following the sobering news, culinary luminaries, food writers and fans from all around the world shared their sorrow and shock on Twitter, lamenting the passing of a legend.