Autopsy of Trotter shows no foul play, trauma - Dallas News |

Autopsy of Charlie Trotter shows no foul play, trauma

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

An autopsy Wednesday was inconclusive for celebrity chef Charlie Trotter, who was found unresponsive Tuesday in Lincoln Park home at the age of 54.

A final determination of Trotter's cause and manner of death is pending additional tests, including a toxicology analysis, according to a spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. No signs of trauma or foul play were found.

The tests are expected to take six to eight weeks, according to the medical examiner's office.

After being rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital from his home on the North Side, Mr. Trotter died Tuesday at 54.

During his long reign as Chicago's top chef and one of America's most celebrated restaurateurs, the self-taught Mr. Trotter offered multicourse tasting menus and artfully plated cuisine that put his hometown on the international culinary map and inspired legions of chefs-in-training — including Alinea's Grant Achatz, Graham Elliot's Graham Elliot and moto's Homaro Cantu, among others — to follow his lead.

As news of Mr. Trotter's death spread, former colleagues, friends and admirers offered heartfelt tributes.

Matthias Merges, who spent 14 years as a Charlie Trotter's cook, executive chef and director of operations, said the visionary chef broke down barriers in fine dining, "changed the rules" and altered the public's perception of what top-tier cuisine could be.

Merges — now chef-owner at Yusho, Billy Sunday and the newly opened A10 — also marveled at Mr. Trotter's tenacity and drive, saying those who worked at Charlie Trotter's had only one goal: "to be the best restaurant in the world."

In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Mr. Trotter's impact and food as well as his "generous philanthropy," which manifested itself most publicly in the youth-oriented Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation.

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