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Charlie Trotter's Wife Says Recent Travel Didn't Contribute to Chef's Death

By DNAinfo Staff on November 8, 2013 11:03am

 Chef Charlie Trotter died at the age of 54, authorities said.
Charlie Trotter
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CHICAGO — Rochelle Trotter, wife of famed chef Charlie Trotter, issued a statement saying her husband's death was not caused by a trip he took shortly before his death Monday.

After a seizure in January resulting from an aneurysm, Trotter's doctors prescribed him medicine and doctors cleared him for travel, Rochelle Trotter said in the statement issued Friday.

Columnist Michael Sneed of the Sun-Times reported that Trotter died of a stroke that might have been brought on by a trip to a culinary conference in Wyoming the weekend before. 

Trotter "returned home from his most recent trip Monday night without incident," according to his wife's statement. "The autopsy indicates that his travel is not connected to his death."

  More than 100 mourners touched by Charlie Trotter over the years gathered outside his former restaurant Tuesday night.
Vigil for Charlie Trotter: Proteges, Family, Friends Honor Renowned Chef
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The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday the autopsy was inconclusive and further tests are pending.

Trotter's body showed no signs of trauma or foul play, the medical examiner said.

Frank Shuftan, a Cook County spokesman, said results from the test will take six to eight weeks to process.

Rochelle Trotter issued the statement hoping "that this will settle the inaccuracies that have been reported," she said.

Trotter was found at his Lincoln Park home Tuesday morning and taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

Paramedics treated him at his home in the 1800 block of North Dayton Street about 10:45 a.m. before rushing him to the hospital.

Police had earlier said there were no signs of foul play. A vigil was held Tuesday after outside his shuttered Lincoln Park restaurant at 816 W. Armitage Ave.

Trotter's wife issued an earlier statement Tuesday evening saying the family was stunned by his death.

“We are incredibly shocked and deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of Charlie at our home in Lincoln Park," she said. "He was much loved, and words can not describe how much he will be missed.

"Charlie was a trailblazer and introduced people to a new way of dining when he opened Charlie Trotter’s. His impact upon American cuisine and the culinary world at large will always be remembered. We thank you so much for your kind words, love and support,” she said.

In 1987, Trotter opened Charlie Trotter's, a restaurant that became known as one of the world's best, earning a two-star Michelin rating before he closed it in August 2012.

Trotter won a number of awards from the James Beard Foundation, including best chef in the Midwest in 1992, the nation's outstanding chef award in 1999 and the nation's outstanding restaurant in 2000. In 2000, he also was awarded best national television cooking show for "The Kitchen Sessions, with Charlie Trotter."

At the time of his death, Trotter was in the process of selling the building that housed his restaurant.

Trotter's death left the culinary world in shock.