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NY Times Charlie Trotter Article - He Doesn't Seem Like a Bad Guy!

NY Times Charlie Trotter Article - He Doesn't Seem Like a Bad Guy!

Old Mar 30, 11, 11:44 pm
  #1  
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NY Times Charlie Trotter Article - He Doesn't Seem Like a Bad Guy!

For all the flack he takes here on FT, I thought CT would be some sort of devil spawn, but the NY Times portrays him as an interesting and altruistic dude, in certain endeavors, though a sometimes, hmm, tyrannical figure in the industry.

They, do mention UA, a bit . . . nonetheless, an interesting read for those who are interested in the Exec Chef of all those lovely UA meals.

Last edited by PanHam; Mar 30, 11 at 11:55 pm
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Old Mar 31, 11, 12:11 am
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He may not be a bad guy, but he puts too much salt into his steaks!
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Old Mar 31, 11, 10:25 am
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I went to a dinner with a large group (~100 seats) to his restaurant. I've only had a few fine dining experiences, but this was the best (even given Trotter's attitude during the night). Whoever trains the staff there does an amazing job - really, they are amazing, all the way down to the guy who pours water and serves bread.

Trotter walked throughout the dining rooms and spoke to us numerous times during the night. The man is pompous and came off like a tool. He was trying to impress us with his knowledge of literature, spewing quotes all night looking for people who knew the author/title. He was offering full dinners for anyone who could get his quote (each of the packages was for a party of 2 including wine pairings ~$1000 value). Definitely a generous offer, but when no one could get his random quotes, he berated the group for our lack of literary knowledge.

We had the opportunity to ask him questions and when one of my friends asked how he reconciled the quality between fine dining in his restaurant vs his United meals, he couldn't answer, gave some kind of annoyed response, then proceeded to mock the person who asked the question. As if this wasn't enough, when another friend (a female student) asked him a question that he couldn't answer, he told her that she should come back for a private experience with him in his kitchen where he could better answer her question. Yea, that's what happened, in front of a dining room of about 30 people. This is the kind of guy he is. I can't imagine how he is in his kitchen with his staff.

So yea, my level of respect for him as a person is nonexistent. Having said that, the dining experience was nothing short of amazing.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 10:42 am
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Its just a fact that his fine dinning meals [or any "Top/ Iron Chief"] meals just
don't translate well to the airline style meal preparation. His [or anyone else's]
personality not withstanding.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 10:52 am
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Absolutely agree Jersey Joe. The last 'acceptable' meal I've had on an airplane was LH business.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by kathycali View Post
Absolutely agree Jersey Joe. The last 'acceptable' meal I've had on an airplane was LH business.
Try OZ/NH and you will be quite happy
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Old Mar 31, 11, 12:55 pm
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Slight OT, but related to the Iron Chef comment. I do remember a on a Food Network show (I think "The Next Iron Chef") where one of the challenges was to prepare a meal that could work on-board an airliner (ie it was prepped on the ground and heated in the galley for service) I want to say it was with a Lufthansa crew?
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Old Mar 31, 11, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingBear View Post
Slight OT, but related to the Iron Chef comment. I do remember a on a Food Network show (I think "The Next Iron Chef") where one of the challenges was to prepare a meal that could work on-board an airliner (ie it was prepped on the ground and heated in the galley for service) I want to say it was with a Lufthansa crew?
The show was Top Chef and it was for Continental.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jgsx View Post
The show was Top Chef and it was for Continental.
Can't tell you if it was on Top Chef or not (i don't watch it) but it was on The Next Iron Chef also.
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Old Apr 1, 11, 10:21 am
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Thanks for the suggestions UA-NYC. Actually I'll go to a nice restaurant for the really good food.
Not to continue to deviate from the topic (although the thread is now in Dinning Buzz), but how well did the chiefs do with the airline challenge -- and what did they try to prepare?
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Old Apr 5, 11, 9:43 am
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He needs a better PR person. He really took Chicago cuisine to another level, helping prepare the city for places like Tru and Alinea.
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Old Apr 5, 11, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by hd54321 View Post
I went to a dinner with a large group (~100 seats) to his restaurant. I've only had a few fine dining experiences, but this was the best (even given Trotter's attitude during the night). Whoever trains the staff there does an amazing job - really, they are amazing, all the way down to the guy who pours water and serves bread.

Trotter walked throughout the dining rooms and spoke to us numerous times during the night. The man is pompous and came off like a tool. He was trying to impress us with his knowledge of literature, spewing quotes all night looking for people who knew the author/title. He was offering full dinners for anyone who could get his quote (each of the packages was for a party of 2 including wine pairings ~$1000 value). Definitely a generous offer, but when no one could get his random quotes, he berated the group for our lack of literary knowledge.

We had the opportunity to ask him questions and when one of my friends asked how he reconciled the quality between fine dining in his restaurant vs his United meals, he couldn't answer, gave some kind of annoyed response, then proceeded to mock the person who asked the question. As if this wasn't enough, when another friend (a female student) asked him a question that he couldn't answer, he told her that she should come back for a private experience with him in his kitchen where he could better answer her question. Yea, that's what happened, in front of a dining room of about 30 people. This is the kind of guy he is. I can't imagine how he is in his kitchen with his staff.

So yea, my level of respect for him as a person is nonexistent. Having said that, the dining experience was nothing short of amazing.
What a (colloquial term for penis).
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Old Apr 6, 11, 11:00 am
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I did "Chef for a Day" at CT's about 10 years ago. He offers them up to charities as a fundraiser. I was in the kitchen about 12 hours, first working and then having dinner at the kitchen table with friends. I found him to be very decent, sometimes stern but not mean to his staff. Some of the other chefs wouldn't speak to me since I'm pretending to be one for a day, but he was gracious and took a couple of photos with me while I was dressed in my whites. During dinner he came to our table a number of times to chat and had a lot of suggestions for an upcoming trip to New Orleans.

I have eaten there a few times over the years and simply great him with a "good evening chef" and he responds politely. I have seen him bristle when someone is obviously name-dropping or acting like a big shot. In his perfect world his restaurant would be filled with foodies, not just expense-account types who come because it's on a must-do list. I'm not saying he's overly warm, but my experience as a patron as been postive.
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