Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Kitchen Sessions
I read today that Charlie Trotter died. Ever since watching his series The Kitchen Sessions on PBS, I wanted to make a pilgrimage to Chicago to eat at his epynomous restaurant. We never planned the trip and he closed his restaurant and left the business to pursue other interests. I kept hoping that he would relent and open another restaurant, but alas, that was not to be. And he was young, just a year younger than me. Not long after we moved into our house, we watched our first Kitchen Sessions show. My husband and I were salivating over whatever it was that Charlie Trotter was cooking and we frantically scribbled down ingredients and technique. We were particularly amused whenever Trotter would reintroduce a flavor in the dish. And "reintroduce", as it relates to cooking, remains in our lexicon to this day. It was Charlie Trotter who persuaded us to take a basic dish, then riff on it. I own two of Charlie Trotter's cookbooks, both gifts from my husband. The Kitchen Sessions has been well-used and shows it. The second book, Charlie Trotter's, is less accessible to the average home cook who is on both a time and money budget. The ingredients lists are long (and some ingredients are hard to find), and most recipes require stocks and sauces that take hours to make. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful book and I dream about having the time and money to be able to cook from it someday. So on Sunday, assuming I'm not totally dead from running the Richmond Half Marathon the day before, I will create a Trotter-inspired meal, in his memory. Rest in peace, Charlie Trotter, rest in peace.