Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

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LOVE, CHARLIE: THE RISE & FALL OF CHARLIE TROTTER

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Documentary filmmaker and director Rebecca Halpern discusses the award-winning documentary “Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter.” Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.

 


“Perfectionist… Control freak… Boundary pusher… Enfant terrible… Driven taskmaster…” Much can be said about Chef Charlie Trotter, the self-proclaimed “excellence-ist,” who reimagined haute American cuisine and made Chicago the culinary capital it is today. Charlie was a rock star among the first generation of celebrity chefs, but because he rose to prominence in the pre-social media era, his legacy stands to be lost to time. For 25 years, Charlie and his diverse team improvised 10-course tasting menus, never serving the same dish twice. The self-taught chef was credited with inventing micro-greens and took vegetarianism mainstream, and the groundbreaking style of photography in his cookbooks made him the godfather of food porn. Charlie’s obsession with exceptional ingredients and his exacting management style drew ambitious aspiring chefs from around the globe to his door, and his flock of trainees have become the who’s who of the culinary world.

To his employees, Chef Charlie Trotter was an enigmatic guru. To the media, he was a caricature of an overbearing perfectionist. But to those who loved him, he was “Chuck,” a fun-loving dreamer whose passion knew no bounds. LOVE, CHARLIE reveals how, over the course of his career, Chuck (his authentic self) gave way to Charlie (his professional persona), with devastating consequences.

  • Charlie Trotter Sign
    Charlie Trotter Sign

 

Told through intimate sit-down interviews with family, friends and celebrated chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Grant Achatz, along with extensive personal archival material (including 8mm home movies and hundreds of pieces of personal correspondence), and evocative graphics and animation- the film is a searing portrait of what happens when a person’s identity becomes consumed by their work, and an epic cautionary tale of what can happen when that work fades away.

LOVE, CHARLIE features Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Grant Achatz, Norman Van Aken, Carrie Nahabedian, Farmer Lee Jones, Della Gossett, Michelle Gayer, David LeFevre, Guillermo Tellez, Reggie Watkins, Rahm Emanuel, Gordon Sinclair, Art Smith, Rick Bayless. The documentary will be featured In theatres and will be out Amazon and Apple TV starting November 18, 2022. More:http://oakstreet.pictures/project/lovecharlie

LOVE, CHARLIE marks Rebecca’s directorial debut. Most recently, Rebecca wrote and produced “Who Is Stan Smith?”, a forthcoming feature documentary with the SpringHill Company that will premiere Fall 2022, and she served as Co-Executive Producer of Netflix’s “How to Become” from Executive Producer Peter Dinklage. Prior to that, she was the Co-Executive Producer of “Helter Skelter,” a six-part documentary series about Charles Manson for Epix network from Executive Producer Greg Berlanti and Director Lesley Chilcott. Rebecca earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she also played on the varsity women’s golf team. Rebecca also sits on the Entertainment Committee of the ADL, the Board of Directors of FACETS Multimedia in Chicago, and she mentors student athletes through Northwestern University’s IMAP program. She also serves as a mentor for cancer caregivers through Imerman Angels. Learn more about Rebecca’s work at www.rebeccahalpern.com.

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About the Author:

Rebecca wrote and produced “Who Is Stan Smith?”, a forthcoming feature documentary with the SpringHill Company that will premiere Fall 2022, and she served as Co-Executive Producer of Netflix’s “How to Become” from Executive Producer Peter Dinklage.

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