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Charlie Trotter Gets Foied By New York Post

By Erin in Food on Mar 31, 2005 5:09PM


Chicagoist likes a good fight.

No, scratch that. Chicagoist likes a great fight. We like bruises, blood, beatings, and, if the mood is right, a little bitch slapping. What we abhor, however, is petulant whining, hair pulling, or name-calling. If you're going to fight, at least have a little dignity while doing it, and for God's sake, make sure you have a leg to stand on.

This leads us to one of the quirkiest stories to come out of the Chicago culinary community since ... well, ever, to our knowledge. Even the Rick "Burger King" Bayless thing wasn't this interesting.

At this point, most have heard about the article that Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro wrote on what Chicagoist assumes was supposed to be a local perspective on what is a hot national topic in the restaurant industry -- Foie Gras: To Serve or Not To Serve.

[Some chefs have refused to serve the delicacy because of what some consider to be the inhumane methods by which foie gras is produced. Ducks and geese are force-fed and then are limited in their movement to fatten their livers.]

As Caro's fantastically written article points out, Charlie Trotter, the famed Lincoln Park-based chef, has stopped serving foie gras for the aforementioned reason. This is all fine and good, as Chicagoist really enjoys a well-prepared foie gras though respects others views on the matter, but could Trotter have come off as any more of an asshole?

Trotter came out swinging at just about every target placed before him: the animal rights activists whose cause he appears to support by deed but not by word, the foie gras manufacturers, and even Tru owner and chef, Rick Tramonto, whom Trotter labeled as "dumb" and "fat."

Seriously, Trotter is pissy towards everyone but the ducks, and Chicagoist advises everyone to steer clear of any bodies of water over in Lincoln Park as at this point we're not entirely convinced that Charlie might not partake of a little target practice.

Kidding, Charlie. Really.

While it was amusing and entertaining to see Trotter spittle and froth in the Trib, what's really been fantastic is today's develop courtesy of our friends in New York City. According to today's NY Post, while Trotter may have pulled foie gras from his restaurant's menu three years ago, what is good for the goose, so to speak, is not good for the gander.

From the Post: "Word was buzzing at the Food & Wine Best New Chefs party Tuesday night at Skylight Studio about a dinner Trotter hosted with Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda and England's Heston Blumenthal just two weeks ago. Trotter served three courses featuring foie gras."

Nice, Charlie. Next time you go picking a fight, you might want to -- sorry -- duck.

While Chicagoist has never dined at Trotter's joint, we've always entertained notions of saving our money and going. Now we think we'll take those plans and hop on over to St. Clair Street instead.