Charlie Trotter

Chef and Restaurateur
Born Sep 8, 1959

Charlie Trotter is a chef and restaurateur.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Charlie Trotter.


1959 Birth Born on September 8, 1959.


1977 17 Years Old Trotter was born in Wilmette, Illinois and graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois from 1977-1979, and then transferred to University of Wisconsin–Madison.


1982 22 Years Old Trotter started cooking professionally in 1982 after earning a political science bachelor's degree from UW–Madison. … Read More
1986 26 Years Old Trotter married his first wife, Lisa Ehrlich, on August 31, 1986. They met in 1981 at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lisa helped open the restaurant and served as its first dining room manager and wine director until the couple divorced in August 1990. … Read More


1997 37 Years Old Trotter made a cameo appearance in the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding, screaming at an assistant, "I will kill your whole family if you don't get this right! … Read More
1999 39 Years Old Trotter was the host of the 1999 PBS cooking show The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, in which he details his recipes and cooking techniques. … Read More


2002 42 Years Old Trotter also was unusual among celebrity chefs for his outspokenness in matters of ethics, most famously when he took foie gras off the menu in 2002 for ethical reasons. … Read More
2003 43 Years Old 1 More Event
Trotter was the subject of a number of lawsuits. In 2003 he was the subject of two class action lawsuits pertaining to the compensation of his employees and alleged violations of labor law, both front-of-the-house (service) and back-of-the-house (cooks). … Read More


2010 50 Years Old In February 2010, Trotter married girlfriend Rochelle Smith, who later became his publicist.
On June 13, 2013, Trotter was sued by Bekim and Ilir Frrokaj, two wine-collecting brothers, who accused him of selling them a counterfeit magnum bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for $46,000, which he denied.
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