When I found out via a text from my wife that the famous chef Charlie Trotter had suddenly passed away at the young age of 54, I instantly got a feeling of sadness!  Not because we were close friends (I met him once and he had more of an impact on me, than I ever did on him) but because I was sad for for a man and his family who was just at a point in his life where all his hard work and dedication should have been rewarding him.  He should have been able to enjoy his success, instead he leaves behind a family in mourning.

At this time nobody is sure what happened, there is no suspicion of foul play, alcohol or drugs involved!

Charlie Trotter voluntarily closed his self titled restaurant in Chicago only a few short month ago.  A restaurant that those of us in the Restaurant Business know was his life!  Could he have passed from an empty feeling inside, that what he was living for was gone?  I know it sounds cheesy but it get’s me thinking.

Something similar happened to me a few years ago, when I was in the thick on running my restaurant, working stupid long days that put a strain on my relationship with my wife.  I got a call that a chef I had worked for had passed away.  It sent chills down my spine, he was much younger than Charlie.   That was one of those moments when I realized how short life can be and that I needed to make some changes!

Please watch this video…it includes a very funny (and kind of amazing story) about how I met Charlie some 15 years ago!  It’s also partly a memoriam to a great chef and industry icon, but there is also a very important call to action and message, one you DON’T want to miss!

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