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Reporter Mark Caro Thrown Out Of Charlie Trotter's Auction

By Anthony Todd in Food on Dec 12, 2012 2:45PM

Photo by Huge Galdones, via Grubstreet Chicago.
We thought the Charlie Trotter's drama was finally over. After all, the restaurant is closed. The fixtures are being auctioned off. How could anything possibly go wrong? Well, Chef Trotter apparently couldn't resist one last jab. Tribune reporter Mark Caro, who authored the excellent multi-part series on the closing of Trotter's, tweeted yesterday that he was thrown out of the auction.

"Charlie Trotter kicked me out of his restaurant today while I was checking out his auction's preview," Caro said yesterday afternoon on Twitter.

While we didn't agree with absolutely everything Caro wrote in his profile, it was an incredible piece of work. The level of access necessary to write such a multi-part series led us to believe that he had a good relationship with Trotter. At first, we thought he might be joking, so we got in touch with Caro to make sure this actually happened.

"We did have a good relationship. Aside from providing the impetus for (Caro's book) The Foie Gras Wars, he sat down with me for a couple of long interviews for my Tribune series and also let me follow up on the phone so I could give him the chance to respond to anything that had been said about him. I hadn't heard from him since the three-parter ran in August. Given that he insisted I leave the restaurant yesterday during the open-to-the-public preview of his auction, I'm guessing he didn't like it."

Food media peeps jumped right into the conversation. Not surprisingly, Steve Dolinsky (who has some experience with the bad tempers of both Trotter and his proteges) responded. "Did you criticize Gordon Sinclair's fritters from '89?" For those who don't track food media feuds, Dolinsky tweeted some critical comments from a dinner at Trotters before it closed and got into a bit of a fight with Graham Elliot over it. Jeff Ruby at Chicago Magazine also weighed in: "Mark Caro gets kicked out of Trotters. Steve Dolinsky gets bounced from Graham Elliot. I'm beginning to feel left out here."

Clarification: An earlier version of this post indicated that Caro was surprised that the incident had occurred. This was an inference from the original tweet and the response, not part of Caro's statement.