Though details of his death have not yet been released, ABC's Eyewitness News 7 has reported that "Trotter was found unconscious in his Lincoln Park home and transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Tuesday at 10:45 a.m., where he died." An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
See also: SoBeWFF: Charlie Trotter Tribute Dinner
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released a statement regarding Chicago's best-loved chef:
"Charlie Trotter changed Chicago's restaurant scene forever and played a leading role in elevating the city to the culinary capital it is today. Charlie's personality mirrored his cooking - bold, inventive and always memorable. Charlie Trotter will be remembered for serving the finest food and his generous philanthropy, and he will always have a seat at the table among Chicago's legendary figures."
Trotter never graduated from any fancy culinary school. Instead, he learned his trade working under some of the best chefs in the nation, including Norman Van Aken.
Trotter opened his famed restaurant, Charlie Trotter's, in 1987 and won multiple James Beard Awards, including humanitarian of the year. In 2012, Trotter was honored at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's annual tribute dinner. Trotter closed his restaurant in September 2012 with the intention of continuing his education.
Celebrity chefs have been taking to Twitter to share their disbelief -- and grief:
I can't believe the news. Thank you Charlie Trotter, my friend, for everything you have done for the culinary world. http://t.co/O7Poh4XFmJ
— Fabio Viviani (@fabioviviani) November 5, 2013
Rest In Peace Charlie Trotter. A giant. A legend. Treated shabbily by a world he helped create. My thoughts go out to those who loved him.
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 5, 2013
Chef Charlie Trotter. Rest in peace maestro
— Scott Conant (@conantnyc) November 5, 2013