Renowned Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, who may have introduced the tasting menu to America and revolutionized the dining scene, has passed away, NBC Chicago reports.
According to reports, Trotter was found unresponsive at his Chicago residence and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Trotter was 54.
The chef had closed his famous namesake restaurant after 25 years last August, with plans to return to graduate school to study philosophy and political theory. A future restaurant was discussed, and Trotter's To Go was slated to stay open, but the smaller restaurant was eventually shuttered as well.
Little has been reported about the circumstances of Trotter's death; rumors that Trotter had a brain tumor have been circulating, but have not been confirmed. The food world, in the meantime, has been mourning the chef's passing, especially chefs who worked under Trotter, including moto's Homaro Cantu and Graham Elliot. Plenty of notable chefs have come out of Trotter's kitchen, including Grant Achatz, Giuseppe Tentori, and Mindy Segal. Elliot tells the Tribune, "I just can’t put into words how saddened I am by all of this. It’s a huge loss, not just personally, but for the culinary world."