We read today’s Sun-Times food section, and all that’s sticking is the 20th anniversary of Charlie Trotter’s, and the start of fig season. But those things are superimportant, so it’s enough.
Yes, the 20th anniversary of Charlie Trotter’s! The restaurant opened in “not yet gentrified” Lincoln Park back on August 17, 1987, and has never looked back. Trotter is throwing several celebratory benefit dinners, with the $1,500 and $5,500-a-head fees going to various charities. Also, Charlie is a professed licorice addict, saying “There’ll be times when I’m starving for something in the middle of the night and I’ll eat licorice. And not just high-quality, European licorice but those Twizzler things. … You eat like 15 of them and then you’re like, ‘What did I just do?’” Ah, we know that same feelings of disbelief and remorse all too well.
As for the figs, Lisa Donovan reports that back in the B.C.T. era (before Charlie Trotter’s, obviously), people in America didn’t really know from figs. These days, figs are everywhere you look, from high end groceries to ethnic stores. Figs are especially important in Middle Eastern desserts, and you’ll find fig-based confections right along side baklava in your favorite sweets outlet.
[Photo: Charlie Trotter’s deep dark secret]