Charlie Trotter's Kitchen

I'm so fortunate. Last Saturday I was The Guest Chef for the Day at Charlie Trotter's Restaurant in Chicago - a unique opportunity to participate in the creation of Charlie's world class cuisine. The weekend before, the restaurant celebrated its 21st anniversary. This prestigious restaurant is dedicated to excellence in the culinary arts and I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of the team for the day.

I arrived at 2 PM. The plan was to work in his innovative and progressive kitchen until 9 PM then change out of my chef's whites and join my family and friends in the dining room for dinner.

The Family Meal: The staff and I enjoyed this delicious fish stew, paprika potatoes, fresh Illinois corn and salad before the shift.

Ready to get cooking, but wait, I am first offered a glass of Champagne...they're spoiling me! Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru

I'm hoping I can give you a sense of the experience by sharing photographs of the kitchen and some of the finished plates.

The Busy, Dedicated Staff

Garde Manger: the station where cold dishes are prepared.

Chilled Snow Lake Trout with Smoked Salmon Roe
Sorrel & California Crayfish

Pickled Baby Radish with Chives
Charlie Trotter is clearly passionate about vegetables.

Building the Dish:
Michigan Heirloom Tomatoes with Fava Beans
Basil Seeds & Chervil

Italian Summer Truffle :)

Ossau Iraty with Truffle

Ossau Iraty cheese from the French Pyrenées is aged for a minimum of ninety days;  its fragrance is reminiscent of toasted hazelnuts, and it tastes of the sweet, buttery flavors from superior sheep's milk.

Braised Short Ribs are Grilled...


Forty Eight Hour Braised Short Rib
with Chive Blossoms & Fermented Black Garlic

Angelica Ice Cream is made with angelica herb from the restaurant's abundant garden.

Michigan Raspberries & Blackberries 
with Angelica Ice Cream & Angle Food Tuile

I am so grateful to the entire staff at Charlie Trotter's. Everyone was extremely accommodating, friendly, and professional. And to top it all off, my family, friends, and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner later that night.

Thank you everyone for a most extraordinary and memorable day.

Mignardise: small sweet bites served at the end of a meal...

A sweet experience indeed!