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Charlie Trotter's Hardcover – November 1, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898156289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898156287
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Anthony Berno on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
I have had this book for past two years and have tried a lot of the recipes. As a vegetarian, I have always had a hard time to find a book that has recipes that very tasty (I am not a big fan of meat substitute), simple, and beautiful. His books provides them all. His soups are pathetically easy...cook, blend, strain, and serve. He does spend sometime in decoration but these are usually not neccessary (I only ocassionally do that, eliminating them will not impact the overall taste). Unlike other readers, I have not had a hard time finding ingredients but then again, I live in Chicago and shop at numerous places for groceries. Although, Whole foods and Treasure Island (chicago area only) carries every single ingredient he calls for (some obviously are seasonal). It is an excellent book for people who love to cook seasonal vegetables (he breaks his recipes by months).
His dishes are laid out for course meals so the portions are small. I eat very small portions so if I cook the soup (the entire recipe, suggested serving is four) with some bread on side, it is enough for my friend and I.
I disagree with anyone who says that the recipes are hard to use. The time consuming part is roasting, baking, or cooling time (which does not require you spend the entire time in the kitchen, I generally spend that time to go do something else). I usually don't have the flavored oils that he calls for but I just substitute with one of the oils I have or just really good olive oil. I think if you have the time than go for the entire recipe but skipping the oils, or very small amount of sauce is not going to hurt the taste of the dish.
If you are intimidated by his book, I suggest your start with his soup recipe (for example, his Tomato soup recipe calls for taxi tomato...if you don't find taxi tomato, use big yellow tomato or even good quality red tomato).
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. The quality of the pictures and recipes are extremely high.
The culinary masterpieces created in the mind of Charlie Trotter push the outer limits of creativity and innovation. This book focuses on every aspect of a gourmet meal: from visual presentation to taste, texture, and usage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. I am a big fan of this book. While I will not make every recipe in it, it has caused me to experiment more freely in my kitchen and opened my mind to new possibilities, food combinations, and presentation styles. There are several recipes that call for extremely exotic/hard-to-find items...don't bother with them...Improvise and use what you have.
This book is not for the novice chef. A solid understanding of several cooking techniques is required for each dish...but with some practice, you will be rewarded tenfold. If you have the means, I highly recommend his namesake restaurant in Chicago. It is an utterly overwhelming experience.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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