The culinary world was rocked on Tuesday (Nov. 5) when renowned chef Charlie Trotter was found dead in his Chicago home at the age of 54. As those whose careers were influenced by Trotter process their feelings over his passing, one has opened up about the loss of his mentor.
“Masterchef” judge, and renowned chef in his own right, Graham Elliot shared his personal memories of the man whose kitchen he worked in for three years at the age of 21. “Chef, mentor, trailblazer, philosopher, artist, teacher, leader,” he writes on People.com on Thursday. “These are the words that immediately come to mind when I think of Charlie Trotter, or CHT, as he was referred to by the team. Rarely does one encounter an individual that can both inspire and frighten you with his (almost perverse) dedication to excellence and perfection.
“Chef Trotter embodied the idea of pushing the envelope, pushing yourself to be the best you can possibly be, and pushing others to find their own voice. There are so many mantras I lifted from Charlie and made my own,” Elliot adds.
“He will be greatly missed, and now belongs to the ages,” he finishes.
You can read Elliot’s full memorial post for his mentor here.