August 17 has been proclaimed Charlie Trotter Day. That is, it’s been proclaimed Charlie Trotter Day by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. But chefs around the country — and even some internationally — will participate in an initiative by the The Trotter Project to commemorate the occasion. Locally, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton and deep blu seafood grille, the lower-cased restaurant at the Wyndham Resort, are taking part.
What that means is that the restaurants will offer a Charlie Trotter inspired dish and donate the proceeds from the sale of that dish to The Trotter Project. The Trotter Project was established to promote culinary and educational programs and to foster professional excellence. Trotter died in November at the age of 54.
Deep blu (sorry about the capital D; beginning of a sentence and all) will be offering salmon with Olympia oysters, hijiki seaweed, and ginger-shiso-mirin broth. Their dish will be available both Saturday, the 16th, and Sunday.
Norman’s will offer up its Brazilian-styled creamy cracked conch chowder for Sunday diners.
Norman Van Aken was a close friend of Trotter’s and was instrumental in moving Trotter from the dining room of an Illinois restaurant where he was busing tables into the kitchen. Trotter was to cook at the 10th anniversary gala dinner of Norman’s last August along with Van Aken, Emeril Lagasse, Jeremiah Tower and Dean Fearing as visiting celebrities. At the last minute Trotter had to back out on doctor’s orders not to travel. August 17 was chosen as Charlie Trotter Day to commemorate the opening of his Chicago restaurant, Charlie Trotter’s, in 1987. He closed the restaurant in 2012.
Citrus Grill House in Vero Beach is the only other Florida restaurant listed as a participant in the Trotter Project’s project. Are there others? Leave a comment below and I’ll add you to the list.