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Charlie Trotter's [Hardcover]

Charlie Trotter
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 1994
Groundbreaking chef Charlie Trotter offers up the beloved recipes that launched his eponymous Chicago restaurant into stardom, utilizing fresh ingredients, classic technique, and innovative combinations.

This is the book that helped to launch a thousand taste sensations. By now widely acknowledged as one of the hottest chefs of the nineties, Chicago's award-winning Charlie Trotter is noted for his inventiveness and imagination in the preparation and presentation of food. This stunning feat of culinary artistry first presented Trotter's unique cuisine in what has become his trademark opulent style.

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From Library Journal

Charlie Trotter's is a top Chicago restaurant with a national reputation, known for its stylish and imaginative cuisine. Trotter is a serious (his introduction opens with a quotation from Dostoyevsky and moves on to Goethe) and obviously very talented young man; unfortunately for home cooks, the recipes in his cookbook are real "chef's recipes," many requiring hours of preparation and access to exotic ingredients (the first recipe calls for two different reductions as well as two sauces, one involving three different subrecipes, to garnish plum tomatoes that must be roasted for ten hours). For area libraries and other collections catering to foodies.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

CHARLIE TROTTER is the author of 14 cookbooks and three management books and is an eight-time James Beard Award winner. He is the chef and owner of the legendary Charlie Trotter's, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, as well as Trotter's To Go in Chicago. He recently founded C in Los Cabos, Mexico, and Restaurant Charlie in the Palazzo Hotel at the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

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Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable, but only in season, when they are so sweet and juicy that they can almost quench your thirst as you eat them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The demented creation of a madman Dec 5 2001
Do you enjoy assembling 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzles blindfolded? Or have you ever built a fully-detailed model of the cathedral at Chartres with toothpicks? Then, my obsessive-compulsive friend, you have found your cookbook.
Are you a food pervert? (You can be honest. It's just the two of us here.) Do your most sordid and lascivious fantasies revolve around duck breasts rather than human ones? Then bring this book home, lock the doors, and go nuts. (Just stay out of my neighborhood.)
Are you a normal human being looking for some tasty recipes to prepare? Run away! Quickly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually Compelling Gourmet Cookbook Feb. 15 2003
When was the last time you ate at a divine restaurant? When was the last time you ordered something that you couldn't pronounce? Have you ever savored that perfect bottle of French Merlot? If you have a taste for the exquisite, an eye for artistic flair in cooking, and a passion for the culinary arts, this book is your nirvana.
Each recipe is thoughtfully organized into sections:
Serving Size, List of Ingredients, Method, Assembly, and Wine Notes. There is also a full-color picture of each completed dish to accompany the recipe.
The book is organized by ingredient. Tomatoes, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Salmon, Scallops, Tuna, Rabbit, Squab, Lamb, Varietal Meats, Grains, and Desserts. Examples of the recipes are: Truffled Exotic Mushrooms and Root Vegetable Tart with Red Wine Butter Sauce, Timbale of Salmon Tartare with Osetra Caviar, Avocado, and Lemon Oil, and Peach and Creme Brulee Napoleon with Green Tea Creme Anglaise and Peach Juice.
This book is a beautiful example of gourmet cooking at it's height of finesse. This book is not for the beginner or the faint of heart. The tools and ingredients required in this book are extensive, and not always readily attainable. If you are an aspiring gourmet chef, or merely an officiando of the fruit of their labors, you will thorougly enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't try this at home... July 24 2001
Have you ever traveled cross-country to Chicago just to dine at Charlie Trotter's? I have, and it was one of the best meals of my life. This book and the others in the series are great at giving you a feel of what the real thing is like. The pictures are outstanding and the combinations just wow you. But if you think for a moment that any cookbook would allow you to duplicate what Charlie does, you are mistaken. Some cookbooks are for those who want to follow a recipe and duplicate it. This is not one of those. This is for people who want to understand the Chef's unique cuisine and appreciate it for the art that it is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing worthy is easy. Dec 5 2000
This book is clearly not for the amateur cook. But, honestly, did anyone think it would be? I have lived in Chicago 10 years and have been to Charlie's several times. The recipes in the book are good representations of what to expect at the restaurant. So, if you can master several of them, your friends can say they have eaten at Trotter's. My advice (having cooked most of the recipes in the book) is to begin a day earlier than normal, and make all the stocks, reductions, juices etc. You will be shocked how much simpler the recipes become.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Food to Die For July 21 2000
First, the photos are worthy of the term "food porn", and if all you ever do is drool over them, you'll be more than satisfied.
Trotter's innovative cuisine is not for the beginner; either to eat or prepare. If you are a beginner, get one of Trotter's other books "Gourmet Cooking for Dummies".
The recipes in this book will inspire you to change your view of cooking at home. Frankly, no one wakes up and thinks of pickled lambs tongue as a "basic item" in their home. However, once this book is taken to heart, you will find yourself squirreling away that tongue, stocks, infused oils, etc.
It is possible to re-create anything in this book at home, but in going through the process, you realize the substitutions you can make, and in so doing, make the creation your own. To me, that's exactly what makes this book so special.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average cookbook. Feb. 9 2000
When I first encountered Charlie Trotter's books, I actually laughed - how could even the most dedicated home chef even hope to create these dishes? Some recipes even required ingredients that were in season at different times of the year!
Since then, the book has grown on me, and I've grown with it. His approach to food has opened a new chapter in my efforts to become an excellent chef, and his vision has gripped me with a mania that borders on the religious. Coming up to speed with his culinary style takes a lot of work and a lot of money, but once I found sources for the necessary ingredients, and stocked up my freezer with preparations like fennel oil, pinot noir reduction, and cubes of sauteed black chanterelle mushrooms, I am able to whip up a three-course Trotteresque dinner in just a few hours. Notably, I have never followed one of his recipes literally; it is impossible. Instead, you must draw from his techniques and improvise, using whatever excellent ingredients are available in your area at that time.
In short, this is a landmark book that has completely changed the way I approach food. It is NOT for the casual chef, however. His cuisine should be approached with the kind of practice and discipline one might apply to, say, learning to play the piano. The path is long and hard, but the results are worth it.
If you care - REALLY care - about becoming a truly great chef, then buy this book. If not, it's still worth it just to drool over the pictures.
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