Famed Chef Charlie Trotter Has Died

11/05/2013 at 02:17 PM ET

Charlie Trotter
Sitthixay Ditthavong/AP

Renowned chef Charlie Trotter died on Tuesday at the age of 54.

The restaurateur was found unconscious and not breathing at his Chicago home by his son, Dylan, the Chicago Tribune reports. An ambulance was called and Trotter was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Trotter—who hosted a PBS cooking show in the ’90s and published more than a dozen cookbooks— closed his namesake restaurant last year and announced plans to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy.

“I’ve always had a romantic vision that you can do anything you want at any time in your life,” he told the New Yorker.  “What’s the worst that can happen? I can always be a cook.”

Trotter’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which opened in 1987, was a training ground for some of the country’s best-known chefs including MasterChef judge Graham Elliot.

“Charlie was an extreme father figure to me when it came to not just cooking, but life, and seeing things in a different way,” Elliot said. “I just can’t put into words how saddened I am by all of this. It’s a huge loss, not just personally, but for the culinary world.”

—K.C. Blumm

FILED UNDER: charlie trotter , Food

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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